Can they?...Yes! Do I think they will?...No. With Butler pulling the upset over #1 Indiana, Duke looks to be the new #1 team in the country when the polls come out. Many fans will be excited about this. I will say I think it's cool they reached #1 but I'm not overly excited about it. One must remember "DUKE IS DUKE!" What does that mean? It means Duke will always have a target on their back whether they are #1, #10, or even lower ranked! Every team on Duke's schedule has the game against Duke marked down! It is their Super Bowl! Duke is one of the very few teams that when they come into town to play your team it draws the crowd! I know this from my previous experience attending Duke away games. How much of an impact does Duke have on other teams? Let me explain my knowledge and experience from seeing the impact they have at Virginia Tech. I have been to several Duke games but only 2 losses by Duke. Both were to VT. The photo I took above is of the Duke vs. VT game at Cassell on 2/26/11. You can see the fan base rushing the court. If you check out my videos section (link is at the top under "MORE"), I will also post a video I shot of the fans storming the court. Check videos soon as I will later on move the the video to the bottom of the page. But it will be at the top for now to show you the impact beating Duke has on a team. If a team beats Duke there is a 99% chance fans are gonna storm the court. Now there are very rare times Duke has stormed the court whether it be an intense game against rival UNC or a 40 foot last second buzzer beater to win the game at Cameron but it is very rare. Duke doesn't rush the court just for beating a highly ranked team. Hey...they had all the reasons in the world to rush the court when beating and getting revenge in an epic game against #4 Ohio State this past November, but they didn't. The 2 losses at VT I was at fans stormed the court. It was their Super Bowl. It was on the ticker on ESPN. It was highlights on ESPN. I'm betting down town Blacksburg was rocking those nights! It is the effect of having Duke coming into town and upsetting them. This effect I saw on a new level when a buddy showed me his class ring from VT. One season a few years back VT had upset both Duke and UNC in basketball. The students of that class had the option of getting an engraved pic of the Blue Devil and Tarheel Ram on their ring with something VT on it as well. I can't remember exactly the how the pic looked but the pic was to remember the upset wins over Duke and UNC that year. That is just one example how Duke has such an impact on another college. Now don't get me wrong I am in no way knocking other colleges for storming the court, getting the fan base ready for playing Duke, or even putting the history on their rings. I actually think it's cool! It makes me realize playing Duke is not just another game. It is "THE GAME" for that team! "THE GAME" that has been marked on the schedule months ago! That team will be ready when Duke comes to town. Whether Duke comes out with a win or loss, they will have already had a big impact on the team they just played. Those big impacts could be Duke helping the team sell tickets that normally would be empty or getting the fan base pumped up because ESPN GameDay just came to town and we all know it's because Duke came too. So back to my 1st question. Can Duke go undefeated...Yes. Do I think they will?...No. However I know for a fact that if Duke loses an away game this year it will have a major effect for the opposing team. Since that team will have just won their Super Bowl. It truly makes me realize I'm not following just another college basketball team. I'm following something special. I follow Duke!
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Skeelow (Freddie) is the author of this blog. You can also follow him on Twitter @Skeelow22