Duke Won’t Be Perfect

As one of our most favorite bloggers highlights tonight, Duke is not going 16-0 and Florida State is not going to the NIT.

I’d like to discuss the Blue Devils for a moment in an attempt to put an NC State ‘spin’ on this topic for a second.

In the various debates amongst Wolfpackers, one of the primary mantras of the NC State Excuse Squad is that it is perfectly acceptable for NC State to continuously lose to Duke in basketball “since Duke is so good and since everyone loses to Duke.” Of course, these general statements conveniently ignore any use of statistics or information to accurately compare NC State’s rate of losing with “everyone elses”.

Seriously, since “everybody loses to Duke” is the generally accepted original thought of the day consistently proposed by the excuse-mongers, then surely State’s record vs Duke is as bad as everyone else’s whom we claim to be “competitive” against? Actually, since many State fans claim to have a better program than so many of our ACC bretheren, then shouldn’t our record against Duke be at least little better than everyone else’s record?

Did you know that North Carolina, Maryland, Wake Forest, and Florida State have won more games against Duke in the regular season than NC State has in the Herb Sendek era? Even lowly Virginia (who has employed three different coaches in that time frame) has as many regular season wins vs the Blue Devils as NC State (2 wins). Both Clemson and Georgia Tech are only one game behind the Pack and Cavs. (Note: Clemson had a 4-1 record vs Duke over a couple of year period when Rick Barnes was coaching at Clemson.)

So, in the Herb Sendek decade, NC State ranks next to last in the ACC in number of regular season wins vs Duke.

NC State won an ACC Tournament game vs the Blue Devils in Herb Sendek’s first season (1996-1997). This boosts the Pack’s total win count vs Duke in the last 10 years to 3. Unfortunately, State has lost a disproportionate number of ACC Tournament games vs Duke in the ACC (total of 5), dropping State’s total record vs the Devils in the Herb Sendek era to 3-21 (12.5%).

Since no other team in the ACC has played Duke as much as State in the ACC Tournament, then only Clemson and Georgia Tech have winning percentages below that of NC State in the Herb Sendek era.

BUT…surely everyone in Wolfpack nation knows has heard that things are going to get better if you only have some patience. You just wait until next year…or the next. It will happen if we just close our eyes and hope long enough. Perhaps even your children may be alive when it does.

General NCS Basketball

60 Responses to Duke Won’t Be Perfect

  1. packbackers 03/01/2006 at 11:50 PM #

    You’re right, Jeff, you have to believe Florida State is in the tourney now. Speaking of Rrick Barnes, his Longhorns scored 43 points and lost to Texas A&M for the second straight year, costing his team a top seed and maybe dropping them to a three seed. Also, Kentucky earned their way into the tourney with a win at Tennessee. And Maryland kept their slim hopes alive by beating Miami. You know the mid-majors are sweating tonight!

  2. Jeff 03/01/2006 at 11:57 PM #

    Wouldn’t it suck to be talking about “dropping” to a 3 seed as we entered our 8th straight NCAA Tournament with a real expectation to make our 2nd Final Four in 3 years like is what is happening at Texas?

    Additionally, I actually have a follow-up piece to the entries that I logged last year and earlier this season on the great job that Billie Gillispie has been doing at Texas A&M right before this entry. Click here.

  3. william 03/02/2006 at 12:05 AM #

    I don’t think that you can really compare. NCSU has a much better program than Miami or UVa or Clemson or Virginia Tech hands down and is overall much better than Wake, Maryland, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Boston College. If you are going to keep harping on UNC and Duke, why not bring UCLA, Kentucky, Kansas and UConn into the discussion. NCSU achieves excellent results almost every year; why would NCSU feel that it needs to exceed Duke or Carolina? Nobody else does, now do they?

  4. JSIMON 03/02/2006 at 12:48 AM #

    Jeff, thanks for the link. I’m glad someone’s reading (and I don’t have to continually promote myself).

    The facts are there for sure and Herb’s record vs Duke and UNC are impossible to defend. The only way to do it is to say, “Yeah, they’re great. Everyone struggles against them.”

    Interestingly enough, they were talking about this very thing on the radio on my way home yesterday. And, of course, the talk went to the inevitable Herb-Chuck comparisons. I think it’s true that a lot of people really felt that a big reason the football program was on an upswing was our impressive wins against Florida State. Sometimes those singular wins over the league’s best mean a lot more than consistent wins over the middle or bottom of the league (which is also theory behind the RPI, right?). Of course, enough of those wins over the non-Duke/UNC teams will get you into the postseason (or a non-BCS bowl).

    I don’t really have a strong stance on this. I’d like for NC State to beat Duke and Carolina whenever they play. But — unlike Maryland last season (off the top of my head) — I’d rather lose to them and go to the NCAA Tournament than the alternative.

    Another interesting thing they were talking about yesterday was that one reason NC State fans are so frustrated this season is that despite having 21 wins there really haven’t been many great wins for this team (other than GW and BC which seem like so long ago). The other wins were disappointments in that we blew big leads and made it hard on the heart. Made for an interesting ride home.

  5. MurphNCSU 03/02/2006 at 12:49 AM #

    1) This string starts with a discussion of records as it applies to the vanguard of the conference for the past 15 years. Lets see the statistics to back up the “has a much better program than” claims.

    2)As to Rick Barnes being run out of the ACC, please refer to the following:


    Courtesy of kwolf68 at Packpride. yes, Packpride. I guess 1 in a 100 of their posters know how to research.

  6. PACDADDY 03/02/2006 at 12:55 AM #

    Jeff…”excuse squad”..and you want state fans to take you serious? When Herb arrived…WF was just ACC champioships with Duncan…GW took how long before he beat Duke more than once? UNC???that’s a reach.

    Duke is going to lose to teams they shouldn’t every now and then…Why do intelligent people think that because one coach can beat X team once in a blue moon, Herb must suck?…how does that make sense? DUke and K are not going to fall asleep against NCSU. DUKE IS GOING TO PLAY HARD AND GIVE US EVERYTHING THEY GOT 99% OF TIME. JUST LIKE UNC!

  7. MurphNCSU 03/02/2006 at 12:56 AM #

    2)As to Rick Barnes being run out of the ACC, please refer to the following:


  8. william 03/02/2006 at 12:56 AM #

    So much for dead links Murph. Try to have some idea about what you are talking about before you post and embarrass yourself.

    Courtesy of Davesez.com:

    “even Rick Barnes had a sub-.500 career record in the ACC. I think Oliver Purnell has an excellent chance to be the best coach Clemson has ever had.”

  9. william 03/02/2006 at 1:01 AM #

    And your article doesn’t even say what you claim that it says. If you think that Rick Barnes is a better coach than Roy Williams or Coach K, let alone Sendek, then there is simply no reasoning with you.

    “Barnes left because he saw the dark storm clouds coming. In his mind, he had taken the Tigers as far as he could take them. He decided to get out while he still could. A bad year on his resume would have taken him off the list of “hot” coaches and severely damaged his market value.”

  10. MurphNCSU 03/02/2006 at 1:02 AM #

    WHOA Whillie,

    don’t get so offended, I had an error in copying. Perhaps I needed to call a time out and gather myself. As for the Davesez.com quote, thats (sub-.500 record) something Rick has in common with Herb. Read the article, you might find that it refutes the “run-out” comment. That’s all I was proposing.

    Barnes saw the limitaions inherent in Clemson. Have you ever been to Clemson, I don’t blame him. Unless it is a Football Saturday, it’s not much to look at.

  11. william 03/02/2006 at 1:08 AM #

    I will admit that I despise both Rick Barnes and Mack Brown, so I may be a bit emotional.

  12. Jeff 03/02/2006 at 1:09 AM #

    William, Jeffsez your a moron. I guess that makes it true?

    Love the focus on ANYTHING BUT THE TOPIC!! Thanks to JSimon for adding some great value here.


    I know who DaveSez is. You may want to take a look around here at our site (and its links…and other sites who link to us) before trying to be a smart ass about stuff.

  13. william 03/02/2006 at 1:14 AM #

    If this is not run out of the ACC, then what is it? It sounds just like Wake this year:

    “Barnes’ final season with the Tigers was a horror show; expectations were way out of whack.

    An overconfident team that started the year ranked in the top five struggled for the entire season. The Tigers lost nine games by five points or less. Nerves were frayed and raw. Inconsistent play and numerous frustrating losses created a dark mood in the Clemson locker room.

    Through it all, Barnes rarely placed the blame for losses on himself. His ego just wouldn’t allow it. He almost always blamed the players. His first line after most games was: “I told the players it was going to be this kind of game.”

    He refused to give the players a break. The players worked 50 weeks a year, and the practices during the season were physically and mentally exhausting.

    When the 1997-98 season ended with a disappointing 77-72 loss to Western Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Barnes’ program at Clemson started falling apart:

    Barnes was tired of butting heads with Duke, North Carolina and the rest of the ACC. Under Barnes, the Tigers were competitive against the ACC’s best two programs, but they also were losers most of the time (5-15). ”

    Why would NCSU want someone who was afraid of Duke and UNC?

  14. MurphNCSU 03/02/2006 at 1:22 AM #

    I am not saying to send a party of State donors to Austin to throw Barnes on a thrown and bring him back as the new savior of the program. The article’s entire message is that Barnes left Clemson out of fustration based on the limitations of Clemson itself. As for the section you decided to start quoting,

    “An overconfident team that started the year ranked in the top five struggled for the entire season. The Tigers lost nine games by five points or less. Nerves were frayed and raw. Inconsistent play and numerous frustrating losses created a dark mood in the Clemson locker room.”

    It eerily reminds me of another ACC program this year, and it is not WAKE!!

    Also, it doesn’t say that he was afraid of UNC/Duke, but that he was frustrated by them. I wish some people would atleast admit to FEELING frustration in the same situation. Keep choppin’.

  15. MurphNCSU 03/02/2006 at 1:23 AM #

    eerie, except for the Top-5 part of the quote.

    Also, I believe that is what the “expectations way out of whack” might be refering to.

  16. Jeff 03/02/2006 at 1:31 AM #

    I love the consistency of judging Rick Barnes for things OVER a decade ago at the historically worst program in the history of the ACC while NC State fans have to to ignore, forget, and excuse everything under the sun for their coaches on an annual basis in THIS DECADE.

    This friggin entry was about Duke v State. Don’t bother hijacking these comments on unrelated Rick Barnes arguments and certainly don’t complain about the stuff being deleted.

  17. MurphNCSU 03/02/2006 at 1:36 AM #


    You noted Herb’s first victory over Duke. When exactly were the other two?

  18. Jeff 03/02/2006 at 1:38 AM #

    2003 & 2004 in Raleigh

  19. MurphNCSU 03/02/2006 at 1:43 AM #

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but someone proposed that Julius’ years at State were the high water mark of what will be the Herb era. It seems to me that may very well be the case. I think that it was Julius’ attitude and fire which lead our team to success over the past few years. I personally credit him alone for the UCONN victory last year. Who know’s what kind of play we would have ran/not run if Sendek had gotten his timeout. Julius simply hated to lose. Man I wish had some of that this year.

  20. Jeff 03/02/2006 at 1:59 AM #

    There is no doubt that Julius’ years have been the highwater mark of the last 10 years. But…what other than common sense and a decade of historical record to use as a basis for judgement is there to say that we can’t have a peak season next year!? 🙂

    This year could have been the high water mark, but will need some major success in the tournament to get there.

    Based on regular season:
    2003-2004’s Top 20 RPI and 11-5 ACC record is easily the top spot

    This year is easily the second best year

    Throwing in tournament performances doesn’t do much to change that. We made the Sweet 16 last year…but were 7th place in the ACC with a 7-9 record and were the lowest rated team to receive an at-large bid in the country. That one win last year vs UConn doesn’t overshadow 03-04.

  21. formrwolffan 03/02/2006 at 6:28 AM #

    The real problem isn’t Herb of course. He is not a particularly good coach but fits in perfectly with an athletic director and administration that has no commitment to real excellence in athletics. In any sport it seems – not just the revenue ones. Like the quote, “We’re 51!” it fits what THEIR expectations are and Herb (and Chuck) meet these expectations just fine. They don’t, however, meet the expectations of many alumni and State supporters – including me. I am really think that is starting to show in fund-raising. Not just for athletics, but the University as a whole.
    I know Rick Barnes and he really is a good guy who made it big coming from a VERY modest background. MAYBE a better overall coach than Herb. BUT he is no savior of State’s basketball program – he’s not that good or that stupid. The savior – if he or she comes – will have to come from a level higher up. The head of the University. I am not holding my breath.

  22. class of '74 03/02/2006 at 6:58 AM #

    ^You sir have nailed it! They don’t give a rats butt what we say they just like our money. The tune would change quickly if the money trough dried up. As much weight as the Murphy’s, Vaughan’s and Dail’s carry, they alone can not pay for all that is needed.

  23. class of '74 03/02/2006 at 8:00 AM #

    As for the Duke v. NCSU issue. Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if Herb left and somehow we stole their heir apparent Johnny Dawkins? If Herb were to find someplace else more appealing let’s not totally ignore this option.

  24. VaWolf82 03/02/2006 at 8:40 AM #

    (Sorry for the repeat post….I originally put it on the wrong entry)

    I like Jason’s concluding paragraph and I think that it explains why FSU isn’t in just yet�

    The real question is which FSU team will show up in the tournament(s) — both ACC and NCAA? Will it be the team that beat Duke (nearly twice) or the one that lost by 22 at NC State, 11 at Virginia Tech, or at Clemson?

    FSU blew a big opportunity when they went down in B’burg. They travel to Miami this weekend to play a team that they have already lost to once. A win in Miami and a win over WF on Thurs in the ACCT and they’re in. Lose to UM and it may take a win on Friday in the ACCT as well.

  25. ncsslim 03/02/2006 at 9:14 AM #

    ’74- I just can’t see Dawkins being K’s heir. I don’t think he was very smart when he came to Durham (as opposed to Amaker), and I don’t think that situation has dramatically changed. I certainly want no part of Dawkins here, regardless.

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