College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The widely-held belief that Duke could roll through their ACC schedule without a loss evaporated under the bright lights of Tallahassee's Donald L. Tucker Center, where the Florida State Seminoles proved to be more than the Blue Devils could handle, again.
Florida State is not unused to knocking off highly-ranked, unbeaten Duke squads. In fact, they do it with amazing regularity. The Seminoles knocked off top-ranked Duke squads in 2002 and 2006, both times on the Seminoles own hardwood. Wednesday night's 66-61 upset was the charmed third time in a decade.
On a night in which the Blue Devils couldn't score inside, they shot horribly from outside as well, making just 11 of 35 three-point attempts and shooting 31% overall. Florida State nailed 6 of 13 treys and shot 44% from the field, with senior guard Derwin Kitchen providing much of the offense at critical junctures. He led all scorers with 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting which included 3 triples. The 6'4" shooter hauled in 10 rebounds, dished 3 assists and made 3 steals for good measure.
The Seminoles improved to 12-5 after losing three of their last four games. The loss was the first for Duke since March of 2010, when they lost a conference game to Maryland. Their 25-game winning streak was the second longest in school history.
NOTABLE: A number of ranked teams appear to be headed for unranked status as conference play separates the men from the boys. #22 Georgetown was easily handled by visiting Big East rival Pitt (6), 72-57. The 14-5 Hoyas are a pure flash in the pan, having now lost three straight and four of five in Big East play.
Likewise, #18 Louisville looks overmatched in the Big East, the most competitive conference in the country, losing 88-74 at #7 Villanova. Though the Cardinals are 13-3, their losses have come recently and their 2-1 record in Big East play includes wins over confernence doormats, Seton Hall and South Florida.
#21 Kansas State looks to be leaving the Top 25 ranks after a 74-66 home loss to Colorado. Along with them should go #24 Georgia, road losers at Vanderbilt, 73-66. The Wildcats are 0-2 in the Big 12; 13-3 Georgia defeated Kentucky on Saturday, but are now 1-1 in the SEC. Earlier losses to Temple and Notre Dame are telling.