Another NCAA tournament, another Duke University collapse. At this point, you could set your watch to the annual March Madness choke jobs by the Blue Devils.
Duke, arguably the nation’s most hated college basketball program, has sustained on-court success for years while trotting out some of the most irritating players in recent memory. From Bobby Hurley to Grayson Allen, Duke makes it pretty easy for the public to root against them, which is why seven-seed South Carolina’s upset victory over the #2 Blue Devils was so enjoyable. What’s even better, you now have empirical evidence to back up your Duke University hatred.
A new study from Sports-Reference.com examined 20 upsets of DU since the 1985 tournament, including 12 that came at the hands of opponents more than one seeding away from them. The study revealed that Duke led the country in such upsets during that span by a wide margin.
Of course, there are a few technicalities. When looking only at those more-than-one-seed upsets, Duke and Oklahoma have the same number to upset defeats.
Since 1985, Duke suffers defeat at the hands of a team that are, on average, 4.4 seedings below them while Oklahoma loses to schools that are 5.3 seedings worse. In recent years, Duke has regressed even further in March Madness play. The team’s last four upset losses came against teams that were at least four seedings worse than them.
Why does Duke get upset so frequently? It’s likely a changing combination of the team underperforming relative to expectations and being overrated in the NCAA Tournament rankings. While it’s important to remember that Duke has appeared in more tournaments than any other schools on this list, we can all still revel in the fact that they crap the bed on the biggest stage.