We went to church today, getting there just a few minutes later than usual, which forced us to park in a different spot than usual. When we got there we saw Dave, Kyle’s friend, and talked to him for a bit. We went in to get our seats and saved enough for Dave, Kyle and Lorin, but Kyle and Lorin had brought someone with them so they had to sit elsewhere.

As usual, the message was really good today. It was about expanding our One Word to include other people, and about Mike Ashcraft’s fear that he doesn’t want Port City Community Church to just become a big church, that it continues to look outward and not get complacent. I’m paraphrasing heavily.

After the service Amanda and I talked to Nick and Melissa Warketntein and Phil, the guy who ran the stationary camera in the back. We also talked to Kyle and Lorin again and walked to our cars with them. We talked about possibly going to their place later in the day, but I really wanted to watch Duke play at Maryland tonight and we wouldn’t have been at the Van Zandt’s long before having to leave for that. They have basic cable so they wouldn’t have gotten the game.

Amanda and I made our way to Mayfaire. We ordered small food- a muffin top for her and a danish for me, along with coffee and water, and waited for Mike and Kaitlyn Boscaljon. Mike had found me on Facebook yesterday so we had an idea of what the other looked like. They showed up (they went to the 9:45 Mayfaire service) and we ordered breakfast (lunch for them) and just sat and talked for a while. I think they’ll fit in just fine with our group. They’re recently married, recently moved here, looking for jobs… about like how most of us were when we first moved here. They’ve actually got the most in common with Kyle and Lorin it would seem, particulalrly in age, as I think the four of them are all the same age.

After that we went on home. There wasn’t much going on and it was still a little cold outside, so we just hung out at the house. Amanda was in such a cleaning mood that I thought she might have started her period (she hadn’t), but that meant that I was put to work. First we shifted around a few things in the living room, then we moved my office around a bit (it does look much better). We also steam cleaned the old office as it needed it pretty badly.

When we were done I decided to play some Rock Band and Amanda joined in. I called Michael to see if he’d like to join us online, so he did, along with his roommate, Matt. Michael played drums, Matt played one guitar (generally the bass), Amanda sang and I played the other guitar. We had a problem in being able to hear each other online, which sucked, but other than that it was pretty fun. We played until Michael left to watch a Lakers game.

Duke played at 6:30. Duke versus Maryland at the Comcast Center. Maryland, you must understand, has had some sort of Duke Kryptonite for the last couple years. They inexplicably get really up for games against my Blue Devils.

We missed the first half of the first half, which was really annoying. Virginia and Georgia Tech were playing before Duke and Maryland, and they went into overtime. Fox Sports could have at least been decent enough to keep the Duke and Maryland score up somewhere on the screen, or to cut away during timeouts, but no, I had to follow updates from people listening to the game on the radio and posting the scores on a message board.

Maryland shot out to a lead but then Duke came back and they kept tying up for a while. Maryland was getting all the calls for the last bit of the first half and shot up to a nine point lead at the half. Coach Krzyzewski got himself T’ed up towards the end of it. This was the biggest deficit the Blue Devils have had all season and it was the only time they had been down at the half.

We had run out of Sunny D (which Amanda substitutes for orange juice) and I had told Amanda I’d get her some at the half. I stormed out of the house, went to the Lowe’s Food down the road, and got some Sunny D. During the rest of the half I was commiserating about the half with my fellow Duke fans on the Duke message board.

Coach K did something during halftime. I don’t know what it was, but Duke was back in the game quick. Duke made a basket, stole the inbound pass and made another basket. I think Maryland had turnovers on their first three possessions of the half and Duke made them pay on all of them. They see-sawed back and forth for a bit, but Duke built up a nine-point lead towards the end. Gist made a three to bring it back to six, but Duke utilized stall ball very effectively and ended up winning 93-84. That means they outscored the Terps 18 points in the second half, which is awesome. DeMarcus Nelson had a career high I think with 27 points. Gerald Henderson had 23. Nolan Smith also came up big and even though nobody talked about it much, Greg Paulus had a good game with 12 points, hitting a three and some key free throws at the end. All the Paulus haters brought up one bad pass he had that turned into a turnover, but I think that was the only one he had.
There were a few really good points about this game.

1. Maryland’s got some good big guys, particularly Bambale Osby. He had his way with Duke in the first half, but the Blue Devils ended up outrebounding the Terps, despite the size differential.

2. Duke had a number of key players with major foul trouble. Greg Paulus, Kyle Singler and Lance Thomas (who has been showing a lot of improvement) were all in trouble, but Duke still had enough guns and enough depth to keep up the pressure and get the win.

3. Duke was down for the first time all season at the half. Maryland came out strong and punched Duke in the face, but Duke didn’t give up. The team took it and kept swinging and pulled off the win.

4. Maryland beat UNC at the Dean Dome. Duke beat Maryland at the Comcast Center. Obviously, A beat B and B beat C doesn’t mean that A will beat C, but it’s got to have some Heels worried.

Yes, it was a tough, scrappy game, but Duke pulled it out, convincingly at that, in a hostile environment, and it was a beautiful thing.

I talked with my dad on the phone for a little bit before the game came on. Nothing really new, but he told me that my cousin, Roger Dotsey, was picked to be on a billboard for the University of Louisville that was going up around Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, which was pretty cool. On a not as nice note, he said that Andra and Josh found out that when Josh burned his hand the other night he might have gotten some ligament damage. Hopefully it’s something that can be healed or fixed. I’m thinking that one of a plumber’s most important tools is his hands.

Zach Dotsey