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NC State travels to Duke, where nothing has ever gone wrong

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Don’t even bother fact-checking that statement.

NCAA Basketball: Miami at Duke Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a relief, isn’t it, knowing that history is on your side as you head into a potentially difficult road game. Yes, NC State has had tremendous and nearly unfailing success in the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium—the hostile crowds often subdued, diminished, or having a group cry by the early second half.

Oh, the times we’ve had there.

Hang on a second. [holds fingers to earpiece] I am being informed that in fact the precise opposite of what I just described is what routinely happens. Well, let me tell ya, folks, you can’t win ‘em all.

Duke comes into Monday night a mere 3-3 in the ACC, as it has yet to look like the lottery-pick-fueled domination machine many expected. The Pomeroy Predictor nonetheless likes the Blue Devils by 16, which will end up looking comically low if NC State decides to fold in the face of adversity again.

Er, think happy thoughts think happy thoughts think happy thoughts think happy thoughts ...

Duke is impressively well-rounded on both sides of the floor, even if some of its star freshmen have yet to live up to the hype surrounding them. (Injuries have contributed there.) Luke Kennard is having an insanely good season—44% from three, 59% from two, 88% at the line.

The Devils’ biggest problem in league play has been defending the paint. Opponents are making almost 51% of their two-point attempts, a mark that rank’s Duke’s defense 10th in the ACC. NC State needs to make a point of attacking that area, much like it should have done against Wake Forest. For better or worse, Duke does make it more difficult for teams to settle for jump shots.