Duke is heading in the wrong direction. Five observations from team’s loss to UNC.

There were similarities between Duke’s 82-78 loss to North Carolina, and the 81-77 loss to St. John’s on Saturday.

Not necessarily from an effort standpoint, but how the second half seemed to go.

Duke led 49-45 at halftime. But for the second straight game, the Blue Devils were outworked to start the second half. UNC (18-7, 7-5 ACC) went on a 16-2 run through the first four minutes of the second half.

And before Duke knew it, it was down by 10 points.

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Duke (19-5, 7-4 ACC) would again wheel its way back, cutting the Tar Heels’ lead to 3, but it could not complete the comeback.

Duke now has lost three of its last four games and is heading in the wrong direction. The Blue Devils are now tied for third with Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

In January, after its loss to N.C. State, Duke was playing its best basketball. The Blue Devils notched wins against opponents who, while they were among the ACC’s worst teams, helped Duke improve on defense.

Duke even played well against No. 2 Virginia, a 65-63 loss. But Duke’s last two losses, in particular have not looked good.

Here were five observations from the game:

Article source: http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/duke/duke-now/article199251899.html

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