North Carolina State University defeated top-ranked Duke University 84-76 to hand the Blue Devils their first loss of the college basketball season.
In other games involving the top five teams yesterday, it was No. 3 Louisville 64, South Florida 38; No. 4 Arizona 80, Oregon State 70; and No. 5 Indiana 88, No. 8 Minnesota 81.
C.J. Leslie scored 25 points and Richard Howell had 16 points and 18 rebounds yesterday as No. 20 N.C. State (14-2, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its 10th straight game. The home victory in Raleigh was the Wolfpack’s first over a No. 1 team since beating Duke in 2002.
“I thought we played our butts off,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski during a news conference. “Our kids played with a lot of heart, their kids played with a lot of heart, and they were a little better than we were.”
Duke (15-1, 2-1 ACC) was playing without starting forward Ryan Kelly who is out with a right foot injury. Seth Curry scored 22 points for the Blue Devils before he slipped on a wet spot on the PNC Arena court and left with an ankle injury.
Kelly averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this season, while Curry is averaging 16 points per game.
“Lose a part, no matter who it is, there’s going to be hiccups,” Krzyzewski said. “If they lose Howell, they’ll be a different team.”
Duke took over the top spot in the Associated Press media poll on Dec. 17 after Indiana lost to Butler. No. 2 Michigan is the only undefeated team among the Top 25.