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Did Dez Wells just knock Duke off the No. 1 seed line?

Mar 15, 2013, 9:40 PM EDT

ACC Basketball Tournament: Maryland v Duke Getty Images

Dez Wells is quickly becoming the talk of the ACC tournament.

After lighting up Wake Forest for 23 points in the opener, Wells went off on Friday night, torching Duke to the tune of 30 points on 9-13 shooting. He beat them down the floor in transition, he beat them off the dribble in the half court and he dunked on them when challenged at the rim.

And in the process, Wells took Maryland one step closer to an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament as he orchestrated an 83-74 win over the Blue Devils.

It goes without saying that the Terps needed to get this game if they wanted to have a chance to dance, but we’ll delve a bit deeper into what this means for their at-large hopes here.

The bigger issue is with Duke. The Blue Devils looked down right awful on the defensive end of the floor. Seth Allen and Pe’Shon Howard posted their best numbers in what seems like an eternity — they combined for 17 points and eight assists — and Jake Layman chipped in with 10 points and nine boards of his own. That’s a concern. Maryland is not a good team on the offensive end of floor, and they made the Blue Devils look like a church league team at times.

But that’s also to be expected. Duke’s concern has more to do with the NCAA tournament than it does the ACC tournament, while Maryland had the extra motivation of needing to beat a rival to keep their hopes alive of dancing. The Terps were playing with a different level of intensity, and that was evident from the tip; they jumped out to a 12-2 lead before Duke knew what hit them.

Having said that, there may be some consequences for this loss for Duke. They didn’t win the ACC regular season title. They got knocked out in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Without any kind of league championship to their name, will the committee give this team a No. 1 seed?

I know the argument: this was their first loss with a healthy Ryan Kelly on the roster, and the biggest reason they didn’t win the ACC regular season title was that they were not the same team without him. Given just how dominant they were back in November and December, there’s a reason that many believed Duke to be a favorite for a No. 1 seed entering Championship Week.

But what happens if, for example, Kansas, Louisville and Indiana all win their conference tournaments. Three teams winning duel-conference titles, and none of them are the current No. 1 team in the country — Gonzaga

Would this loss be enough to drop Duke down a seed line?

I don’t think it will, but stranger things have happened.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. ravenscaps48 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:47 PM


  2. tomtravis76 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    The Terps are so young. They are going to walk out of the ACC next season with regular season and tourney title, leaving a bitter taste in all of the Carolina schools mouths.

    Big win,but the Terps need to at least make the ACC final to have a shot at the Dance.Turge played a weak out of conference schedule to build the confidence of this young team. It will pay off next season.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      Yep and NC State was supposed to win the ACC this year. The Tar Heels are young, probably will only lose one big player (although the projections of being picked around 20 might keep McAdoo around for another year?) have a young point guard needed to run their system and have some pretty good recruits coming in. This was one of Carolina’s reloading years that they go through every 3 or 4 years (and they finished 3rd!) next year they’ll be back on top.

  3. xli2006 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Beep beep beep… That’s the sound of thr nat’l media backing away from Duke.

    2nd in ACC and 1st game exit. Good team, but the post-Kelly return hype was a bit much.

    ESPN had the nerve to call Duke’s offense “unstoppable”. Well, Maryland has them pretty well figured out.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Oh it’s insane, you’d think Kelly was the greatest college player of all time they way they were talking about him, but he was a non factor when they pummeled the Heels and now he was a non factor here, actually outside of his first game against Miami he’s been just a guy. But the media got caught up in the fact that Dook hadn’t lost with him this year, that storyline goes out the window now.

      If the Blue Rats aren’t making 3’s and opening it up for Plumlee they’re just another team, can they have 6 straight games where they’re lights out from behind the arc?

  4. dawglb - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    MD can be mediocre, beat Duke twice, and get an invite. What a joke.

  5. fraudguy - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Duel conference…like, at 10 paces?

  6. imwhitewolf - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    This lose probably did knock Duke out of a #1 seed. If Louisville wins the Big East they’ll get one. Indiana can get one a couple ways. Obviously by winning the Big Ten but if they lose a close game to someone like Michigan St., who would then get one, they would probably still get one. It would be hard not to give Miami one if they win the ACC. Sunday will be interesting.

  7. thebadguyswon - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    I’m a Duke fan. I would not give them a 1. No way.

  8. ravenscaps48 - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM


  9. murda101 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    At some point you have to win something to get a Number 1 seed. Duke did not win their conference tournament, and they aren’t going to win the ACC Tournament. How can you still give them a Number 1 seed?!?!

  10. baredon - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Lets see whose in the big dance tomorrow….

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