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Seminoles Stun the Blue Devils

For the 2nd time in the past 5 years Duke came into Tallahassee ranked #1 in the country, and for the 2nd time they go back to Durham with a loss. From the 2:30 mark in the 1st half until the end of the game the Blue Devils were outplayed by Florida State, who won 66-61. Once again it was the Chris Singleton and Derwin Kitchen show, and those two finished with 40 of the Seminoles’ points.

Coming off a three loss road trip (in 6 games) including an inexcusable loss at Auburn, Florida State was in desperate need of a big win to get them back onto the right side of the tournament bubble. That win came tonight. FSU forgot about the 3-guard lineups they’ve been playing, and instead started Terrance Shannon in place of Deividas Dulkys. Duke was unable to counter the inside presence. The Duke defense repeatedly collapsing on the interior opened lanes for Derwin Kitchen to operate, and he responded by leading the Noles with his second career double-double at 20 points and 10 rebounds, adding 3 steals and 3 assists, and shooting 3-4 from beyond the arc. He was aggressive at the elbow, and if you doubt his value Duke looked like they’d run away with the game in the few moments when Leonard Hamilton tried to rest him. Chris Singleton added 18 points, though his biggest contribution came on the defensive end where he held Kyle Singler to 0-5 shooting in the 1st half with 5 turnovers. Why Duke let Singler go one-on-one with Singleton is a mystery, but in the 2nd half they came out with multiple screens to get switches and allow Singler to go to work against other players. Singler scored 18 of his 20 points after the break. But Duke didn’t get much help from anyone else – Nolan Smith scored 19, but on an inefficient line of 17 shots.

Florida State outshot Duke from inside AND outside the arc, and played inspired defense throughout. Walking off a court flooded with fans Leonard Hamilton told reporters that he now hopes "we know the level we need to play at every night." That remains to be seen, but tonight is worth celebrating. FSU is 2-1 in conference, and just broke Duke’s 25 game winning streak.