At 11-10 on the season, Duke has used up any room for error it might have had this season. The Blue Devils will need to beat North Carolina on Saturday and likely go on a winning streak in next week’s ACC Tournament to secure a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
There is a sense of urgency for the Blue Devils as the regular season comes to an end.
“Basically, every game from now is win or go home for us,” sophomore Matt Hurt said. “So just trying to have that mentality starting in practice (Thursday), then (Friday), then Saturday. It’s basically win or go home. Our season could be done next week or we could just keep fighting, keep working and getting better and our season can keep going. We’re not trying to focus on the outside, all the bracketology and everything – we’re just trying to keep it ‘Us against the world,’ as we like to say and try to keep working every day.”
The first step in that win or go home path is in Chapel Hill, against a Tar Heels team that beat Duke last month at Cameron.
“The first game against Carolina, I feel like in the first half we didn’t really move a lot. It was really one-on-one, ball screen, so I think just trying to get movement because we know they’re going to high-contest and try to speed us up,” Hurt said. “We just have to stay patient and back screen, [set] screens – everything. We’re just going to try to keep moving, especially on offense.”