I’ll get to that in a minute.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a decent Duke shirt in Wilmington? This morning when I was getting dressed, even though I wasn’t planning on going anywhere I really wanted to wear some Duke apparel, but all I have is a hat (which I wear pretty regularly) and a hooded sweatshirt, which, as beautiful as it was today, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand wearing. So I wanted to get a t-shirt. I used to have a nice gray faded one- no idea what happened to it.

Moving on, Michael and I ate lunch with Amanda at J. Michael’s Deli which is right next to an Omega Sports. After lunch we stopped by there (in a similar situation, he was thinking about picking up some Carolina gear), and they had a couple shirts I liked but they were all in huge sizes. They had one small t-shirt but, even though it felt really nice, I wasn’t too taken by the design. It had a small devil’s head on the breast and a Nike swoosh somewhere.

So we stopped by Dick’s. They had absolutely nothing for Duke (except a jersey) and nothing Michael liked for Carolina. Then we went by Dave and Barry’s, but apparently they aren’t licesned to sell Duke or Carolina stuff, except for a couple of hats.

At that point we were by the Volkswagen place so I asked Michael to drop me by there to see if they might have finished with the windshield. They had, but the ding was too small for them to do anything to so there was no charge, which was nice. Michael took off and, in a last ditch effort to find a Duke shirt, I stopped by Wal-Mart. Plenty of Carolina stuff, of course, and a few Duke items, but the shirts I thought were decent enough to get were, of course, too large. It often sucks being a small.

I told Amanda of this predicament and she decided, when she got off work, to check the places at the mall for me. Again, either nada or nothing in the right size. Oh well.

We ate a frozen pizza for dinner. I was antsy all day, particularly in the last hour before the game. At 9:00 Michael joined us (me with my hat and Amanda in the Redick jersey she’d bought last year) and the game began.

What a game. Coach Krzyzewski mixed things up in not starting Demarcus Nelson or Josh McRoberts and Duke started out with a nice lead, reaching up to nine points in the first half. At the end of the half they were up five, but in the second they got to ten. Unfortunately with about five minutes left they seemed to run out of steam. Again they couldn’t hit shots. It was agonizingly heartbreaking. Nelson and McRoberts were disappointing but everyone else had good games, particularly Jon Scheyer who scored a game and career high 26 points. In the end I think Carolina’s deeper bench is what turned the tide. Amanda said they were playing like crap in the last few minutes, but they weren’t- they’d played with such intensity all game that I think they were just worn out. Carolina ended up winning 79-73. In the first half Duke was something like 9-9 from the charity stripe and 3-10 in the second. During that, DeMarcus Nelson and Josh McRoberts missed all their free throws and Jon Scheyer broke his streak of 42 consecutive free throws.

Really though, and I know I’ve said it before, but if they play like they did tonight for the rest of the season and can finish a game, these guys should do well. It just sucks that they’re on their biggest losing streak since 1996 (three games) and they’ve got a number of tough away games coming up.

I was pretty upset at first, but after some time to think it over I was proud of this young Duke Blue Devils team. It really hurts that they lost, and it hurts them in their ACC standings and in the record books, but they really did a good job.

Zach Dotsey