The Blue Devils started this season looking every bit the part of a force to be reckoned with. After jumping out to an early lead on the No. 14 ranked Louisville Cardinals, the Cardinals outscored Duke 20-5 to end the first half.
Louisville went on to secure the win, 78-69.
With a four-point lead coming out of the break, Duke appeared to be drowning at times against their conference foe.
Led by Anas Mahmoud’s double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), and 15 points contributed by Donovan Mitchell, the Cardinals handled their opponent handily.
What once appeared as if it would be one of the more challenging games on the schedule for either team failed to live up to the expected billing. Neither team wowed the other with its offensive prowess, but Louisville managed to hit key shots near the end of each half and connected seven times from behind the arc.
Grayson Allen managed to pour in 23 points but couldn’t will his team to victory. Without head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils are floundering and for the first time have lost two games in a row. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have won four times in seven chances against ranked opponents this year, the most of any other team in the college basketball.
Duke falls to 2-3 in the conference and needs to come up with answers, fast.
Coach K is out indefinitely with a back injury and he isn’t going to come walking through the door. Allen might be able to redeem some of his behavior with hard, clean play that wills a suddenly suspect Duke team to a title run.
Louisville continues to look like one of the most formidable opponents in the AC.