Duke Drops Second Of The Year

Following Duke's overtime victory in Durham, it seemed as though opposing fan bases and media alike joined Leonard Hamilton's pleading for an inquiry into the officiating practices being employed by the ACC. On Wednesday night in Tallahassee, there was a role reversal as the Seminoles continually went to the line, saw several key Blue Devils foul out, and came out on top with their season making victory over top ranked Duke.

After trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, the Blue Devils rallied to take the lead midway through the second period, but couldn't overcome the loss of their top two post threats as Florida State earned its second victory over the nation's top ranked team in school history with a 79-74 win.

Both victories over number one have come at the expense of Duke, which has already clinched the ACC regular season title and the conference tournament's top seed.

A basket by Alexander Johnson broke the game's final tie, as Florida State upset Duke for the second time in the last three seasons at home.

With the game winding down, a foul was called with 1.7 seconds remaining. However the Seminole fans rushed the court along with the Florida State players in an early celebration. After finally clearing the court, the officials assessed the players a technical foul, but did not opt for another technical on the home team for lack of crowd control.

Duke's J.J. Redick hit both technicals to cut it to a one-possession game, but Al Thornton made the ensuing attempts to seal the game and allow the Seminole fans their chance to celebrate.

Redick finished a game high 30 points, but shot a paltry 10-of-28 from the field and 4-of-14 from the field, continuing his recent shooting slump.

While his teammate continued to struggle mightily from the floor, Shelden Williams put together another big game for Duke inside, keeping the Blue Devils respectable on the scoreboard and in the rebounding total. Williams finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, but picked up his fifth foul late in the second half, leaving Duke with no proven inside presence.

Only sophomore DeMarcus Nelson joined the two All-Americans in double figures, scoring 10 points while grabbing four rebounds. Freshman Josh McRoberts scored just two points, but grabbed six rebounds, blocked three shots, and handed out three assists before ultimately hearing the whistle blown on him for the fifth time with just under six minutes remaining.

Williams wasn't the only Dukie in foul trouble either, as the Blue Devils were called for 30 personal fouls on the night, resulting in a 40-17 advantage from the foul line for the home team – the very sort of discrepancy Hamilton had so vehemently protested in early February. On this night, however, the Seminole coach was all smiles as his team inched closer to an NCAA Tournament berth.

Meanwhile the Blue Devils are left without a shot at just the second perfect (16 game) regular season record in conference history, and will drop from the nation's top position in the national polls.

While the loss is a bitter pill to swallow, Duke will have a chance to wipe all that away with a victory over arch rival North Carolina on Saturday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium in the final home game for the five seniors on the roster.


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