BOZICH | ACC Selfie -- Ticket prices slide for Duke's visit; Wha - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | ACC Selfie -- Ticket prices slide for Duke's visit; What's wrong with Blue Devils?

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Duke can't win. Syracuse can't lose. Virginia is number one. And Louisville sits directly in the middle of all the fun.

We are two weeks into conference basketball play. That makes this the perfect time for another Atlantic Coast Conference Selfie.

Let's go.

1. What's wrong with Duke?

Who is enjoying this two-game Duke losing streak more – Kentucky fans or Louisville fans? Or, Kentucky fans or North Carolina fans?

I'd never speak for Mike Krzyzewski, a guy I met when he showed kindness to the student newspaper reporters when he was a graduate assistant coach at Indiana University in 1975. (Thanks again for sharing the cookies your mother baked in Evanston, Coach K.)

But the easy answer here is defense is what's wrong with the Blue Devils. Miami scored 56 points in the second half while winning at Cameron Indoor Arena Tuesday night. A month ago the Hurricanes scored 44 points over an entire 40 minutes against Eastern Kentucky. 

Duke has tumbled to 67th in the nation in Ken Pomeroy's defensive efficiency ratings. That is sixth in the ACC. Miami shot nearly 52 percent against the Blue Devils, North Carolina State shot 55 percent.

Defense got the Blue Devils beat at North Carolina State and against Miami. They're a young team that simply is not formidable at pressuring the basketball.

Yet.

2. How does the Duke slump affect the Blue Devils' trip to Louisville Saturday?

Well, Coach K will be chasing his 998th victory, not 1K. The Blue Devils will be trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since the program lost four straight from Feb. 1-11 in 2007. (Think Brian Zoubek, Gerald Henderson, Josh McRoberts, Greg Paulus, especially Greg Paulus, now an assistant coach at Ohio State.)

And the secondary ticket market for the KFC Yum! Center has collapsed.

I checked StubHub.com two weeks ago. Somebody was asking for $3,866.25 (each) for a pair of courtside seats for the Louisville game. There were 42 tickets priced at $1,100 or more.

I made a return trip to StubHub Wednesday afternoon. The most expensive seats on the site were priced at $1,614. Only 24 seats were price at $1,100 or more.

Looking for something under $100?

They're available. In fact, I found 40 tickets priced at $99.36 or less – all in the upper arena.

3. The ACC is the best conference in America. The ACC is not the best conference in America.

Which is the proper narrative? I can make either case.

First, the best: The ACC placed six guys – Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell of Louisville, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones of Duke; Justin Anderson of Virginia and Jerian Grant of Notre Dame – on the Wooden Award mid-season Top 25 watch list. No other league had more than four.

Four ACC teams – Virginia, Louisville, North Carolina and Duke – are also ranked in the Top 11 nationally in Ken Pomeroy's computer ratings.

Now, the case against: Pomeroy's numbers actually have the Big 12 ahead of the ACC. Jeff Sagarin's computer numbers place the ACC third, behind the Big 12 and Big East.

The issue for the ACC is that six teams are not ranked in the Top 100 by Pomeroy or Sagarin. You can win without playing your best against Virginia Tech and Boston College, regardless of what Lou Holtz or any other coach tries to tell you.

4. Notre Dame is serious about academics.

A year ago Notre Dame's season was turned upside down when Jerian Grant left school for academic reasons.

Now coach Mike Brey must deal with another academic problem. Center Zach Auguste has been suspended indefinitely by Brey. Multiple media reports indicate the issue is academic. In fact, one television report said Auguste would not return. Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated exchanged text messages with Brey and wrote that the TV report was premature.

At 16-2 overall and 34-1 in the ACC, the Irish have been the surprise team in the ACC. But they figure to struggle without Auguste, who is second on the team in scoring (14.3) and rebounds (6.4). Notre Dame won its first game without Auguste at Georgia Tech Wednesday night -- barely. ND 62, Tech 59. Grant, a prime contender for ACC player of the year, had a dozen points and six boards.

And, by the way, whatever happened to Luke Harangody?

5. Is Syracuse legit?

I know what the ACC standings indicate. The Orange and Virginia are the league's only 4-0 teams.

I'm not ready to embrace the Orange. Jim Boeheim's team has yet to play Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame or Louisville. Their best ACC win came against Georgia Tech, ranked 91st by Pomeroy.

Don't forget that the Orange will have to navigate the remainder of the season without freshman Chris McCullough, their best inside player.

McCullough suffered a torn ACL in his right knee Sunday against Florida State. According to Syracuse.com, this is the fifth time in the last eight seasons that Jim Boeheim last lost a starter to a season-ending knee injury.

Don't be surprised if the Orange finish this season in the NIT.

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