Growing up with a dad who hailed from Indiana, it wasn’t surprising that I developed a love of basketball–college basketball, in particular.

Somewhere along the way–I’m not exactly sure how or when–I became a fan of the Duke Blue Devils. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach K and the program that he has built. I still get chills whenever I watch replays of the 1992 NCAA East Regional Finals between Duke and Kentucky (widely considered one of the best college basketball games, period).

Duke is a perennial favorite come tourney time. Every year without fail, when I fill in my brackets, I pick Duke to win its region and, most of the time, the whole shooting match. (I tend to lead with my heart rather than my head, can you tell?)

So imagine my disappointment to see that Duke has fallen out of the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll for the first time ever. After hitting a losing streak, the Blue Devils are unranked. But there’s still time for a comeback before selection night, right? I can’t imagine the shockwaves circling the basketball world if they don’t get a tournament bid…

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