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Wake Forest Can’t Allow Duke Loss to Linger

Wake Forest has too much to play for and can’t allow the Duke loss to carry over to future games.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest lost to Duke on Saturday in heart breaking fashion. The Demon Deacons were up 10 points with 4 minutes to play and had a 97% win probability at that point. We all know what happened after that. Duke sophomore Luke Kennard was an assassin and scored 11 points in the final 4 minutes, including a go-ahead 3 with just 10 seconds remaining. While the loss was excruciating, Wake Forest still has a lot to play for and cannot allow that loss to linger.

The Deacs sit at just 3-6 in conference play, but have a very winnable stretch upcoming. The first of which begins on Tuesday evening in Chestnut Hill when the Deacons take on Boston College. Though Wake Forest is on the road, they are still a 7-point favorite on Ken Pom and are projected to win 74% of the time.

Wake Forest will then return home when they host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday. Though Georgia Tech has received a lot of publicity for earning notable wins against the likes of UNC, FSU, and Notre Dame, Wake Forest is still an 8-point favorite on Ken Pom, and expected to win 79% of the time.

The next week Wake Forest will play at Notre Dame, and then host NC State. Wake only has a 23% chance to win at Notre Dame, but has an 81% chance to beat NC State in Winston-Salem.

All told, that’s about as manageable of a stretch as one will get in conference play. Sure, it doesn’t feature a game against Pitt, who has now lost 6 straight and now has to face UNC and Duke, but this stretch presents great opportunity. If Wake can go 3-1 in this stretch, then all of a sudden they are 6-7 in conference play and still in fine shape for postseason play.

Saturday’s ending was terrible, but there was also a lot to be optimistic about. If Wake Forest can keep the bigger picture in mind, then they will see that there is still a great deal to play for. The game against Duke is in the past, and it’s time to bring great effort and focus to the team’s upcoming game against Boston College. If the Deacs come out with energy and purpose, then they should come home with their second ACC road victory of the season.