Duke is one of the most polarizing teams in the nation. People either love the Blue Devils or hate them with a passion.
It just so happens that Duke’s 2015-16 season was also polarizing at times. When the team was good, it was very good. When it was bad, it was very, very bad.
Ultimately, the Blue Devils finished the regular season at 23-9 (11-7 ACC), a far cry from last year’s 28-3 (15-3 ACC) regular season wrap-up, and a three-game losing streak in January (all to unranked squads) led to Duke falling out of the Top 25 at one point for the first time in nearly a decade. The ship was righted, but it became clear that this team’s odds of repeating as national champions weren’t exactly in its favor.
Throw in leading rebounder Amile Jefferson going down with a broken foot in December and not playing since, and the problems just kept piling up.
The good news is that Duke has found a way to win with a short-handed roster and has a great deal of momentum at its back heading into the Sweet Sixteen. Their formula certainly isn’t conventional, but is just crazy enough to work.