For awhile, it looked like Duke was going to tease the haters once again by pulling out another close, poorly-played home win. But Virginia Tech, a team that has struggled over the last year and a half to win close games, pulled out the 69-67 overtime win.
The way Duke mishandled the ball, they really had no business being in the game. At one point, the Blue Devils had 21 turnovers to just 7 from Virginia Tech. In the end, VT ended up with 13 steals to Duke's 2. That includes 5 from Deron Washington, who at one point jumped over Greag Paulus (literally) to make a nice lay up, and then blocked the Duke PG's three at the buzzer. Paulus ended a horrific game with more turnovers than points, assists, and rebounds combined. The loss drops Duke to 13-2, and probably down to the 10-12 range in the polls (which is still too high). The Dukies only have one win over a currently ranked team (#16 Air Force) and don't play a ranked team again until Clemson in 3 weeks. For VT, the win puts them at 11-4 overall and atop the ACC as the only 2-0 team right now. (BC, up 25-11 on NC State will probably join them at 2-0 by the end of the afternoon.)
Saturday signaled the beginning of the Christmas break for college basketball, with everyone pretty much taking off the following three days for time with family and friends. One result from Saturday that surprised me was Kansas 84, Boston College 66. The result wasn't a surprise, but the margin was, as the Jayhawks took over from the start. But the biggest loss for the Eagles may have been the services of star forward Jared Dudley, who aggravated a lingering left foot injury in the loss. Dudley may sit out BC's next two games, Duquesne and Northeastern, in order to regain his health in time for then ACC schedule. Add this injury to those of John Oates and Akida McLain, and you have a frontcourt that's paper-thin behind Sean Williams and Shomari Spears. Also, the injury bug puts even more emphasis what I think is the key to the Eagles' success this season: the shot selection of guard Tyrese Rice.
Knock #5 Alabama off the list of unbeatens. We've seen this time and time again.. when college basketball teams finally go and play quality teams on the road.. they lose. #6 Texas A&M learned this rule a few days ago when they lost at LSU, and UCONN will learn the same fate if they ever leave Storrs.
Apparently Notre Dame and Bama were content not to play defense. The Irish ran off a whopping 95 points compared to Bama's 85. This played right in Notre Dame's hands.. they've now scored 90+ in 5 games this season. Colin Falls had 20 in the win and he managed to do it despite hitting only 3 field goals. For Notre Dame, after beating Maryland on the road and now knocking off another Top 25 team in the same week, the AP Poll could and probably should be in their future.