Carolina couldn't miss tonight. Duke couldn't hit water if it fell off a boat in the middle of the ocean. For Carolina this time it was their guards and Barnes doing the scoring. Barnes is finally showing the athleticism and skill that made him a top recruit. And their offense is cranked up to 10 all the time, which really keeps teams on their toes.
Duke looked like the same team they have in their 3 previous losses. They missed a ton of open threes. They allowed a lot of easy baskets in transition and on cuts in the half court. And we went through lazy spells on the boards. All of those things happened in the losses. And they are really bad things to be doing during the same game. Combine that with Carolina's hot shooting and home court and you have the moderate margin we saw tonight.
One thing I'm really concerned about is Kyle Singler. He has been horrible from 3 during the second half of the season. In his three plus seasons at Duke I've never seen him go through this kind of slump. I haven't seen many players and shooters as good as him go through this kind of slump. He should be in good shape. So I don't think its a matter of being tired. Though perhaps he should make at point to jump into his shot more or extend more on his release.
I don't think we can go very far in the tournament with him playing like he has for the past few months. We can afford to have Curry and Dawkins be streaky. We can afford to have the big guys be a little inconsistent. But the two things we must get consistently is scoring from Nolan and Kyle. And that's just to get deep. In order to repeat we need one of the other shooters to step up every game and the big men to rebound consistently.
Last year we had Zoubeck and Thomas for the rebounding. We also had Scheyer to go along with consistent scoring from Nolan and Kyle. Not to mention those three guys were senior leaders. I think this team can go deep and if playing well can beat anyone in the country. But the margin for error is smaller than it was last year.