“Duke doesn’t play true road games”
It seems like every year, Duke rolls through November and December before hitting the road for their first true road game of the season against a team, like NC State or Florida State, where’s it’s just a perfect storm of contributing factors to make it an obvious loss for the Blue Devils. This loss typically brings up the concern-trolling from fans and sportswriters who openly question “Why doesn’t Duke play more true road games, it will only hurt them in March because they won’t be battle-tested” instead of just saying “I wish Duke played more games they could lose because I don’t want Duke to win basketball games.”
It’s a bit different this year as Duke will play Kentucky on a neutral court (which always translates to a true road game for anyone playing Kentucky on a neutral court), and opens up on the road in ACC play with Boston College, Wake Forest, and Clemson. In fact, six of Duke’s first nine league games are away games, with only NC State and Miami realistically standing in the way of a perfect start to the season on the road.
Signature game: January 25th at Miami
Miami’s going to be pretty good this year, and though PNC Arena has been a house of horrors for Duke over the past few seasons, it seems like a stretch to think that it could happen yet again. After NC State beat Duke (yet again) ruining their undefeated season (yet again) in January of last year, Mark Gottfried gave Mike Krzyzewski a “good job, good effort” pat on the ass on the way out. The next time the two teams faced off, Duke was up by 27 points at halftime. Miami seems like a safer bet for Duke’s “why don’t you play more true road games” game.