Duke experienced a humbling setback, which ultimately served to enhance the team’s performance and improve the Blue Devils.

Duke’s journey into the 2024 NCAA Tournament didn’t begin with a string of victories; rather, it was marked by setbacks. The team suffered a defeat to No. 7 North Carolina, 84-79, in their regular-season finale at Cameron Indoor Stadium, followed by a 74-69 loss to NC State in their first ACC Tournament game. Consequently, Jon Scheyer’s squad appeared to be struggling and vulnerable to an early exit from March Madness.

However, despite their initial struggles, the Blue Devils managed to advance to the Sweet 16 after defeating No. 13 Vermont and No. 12 James Madison. The key to their turnaround? Humility.

Scheyer emphasized the importance of humility in facing setbacks and improving as a team. Following their disappointing performances, the players returned to the gym and used the time off to refine their skills. This approach yielded positive results, as Duke secured victories over Vermont and James Madison by an average margin of 27.5 points while shooting 47.3 percent from the field.

Scheyer highlighted the significance of open and honest communication within the team, noting that individual and team conversations played a crucial role in their resurgence.

Despite their recent success, Duke faces another challenging matchup in the Sweet 16 against top-seeded Houston. Scheyer acknowledges the tough road ahead but emphasizes the importance of continued communication and effort to navigate through the tournament bracket.

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