We feared the worst and it finally happened, North Carolina State ended the Blue Devil's undefeated streak 84 to 76.
The loss of Kelly was noticeable and played a huge part in the Wolfpack's victory. It was easy to see that the Blue Devils were missing their starting inside presence (especially when you notice that Howell grabbed 18 boards for NC State).
The Wolfpack were clearly on top; finding themselves with a small halftime lead, they came out of the locker room and dominated the second half.
CJ Leslie carried the load for the team, putting in 25 points and 6 rebounds, probably his most important contribution of the season, seeing as NC State beat a number 1 team for just the 6th time in history.
Duke on the other hand had some big contributors, but not big enough to keep the undefeated streak alive. Seth Curry, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a left leg injury, put in some key buckets late in the game and ended with 17 points.
Marshall Plumlee, who was also big down the stretch, had 15 points and 11 rebounds, even though he was not able to convert on a few late game hook shots that could have helped in the Blue Devil's attempted comeback.
Another big key to North Carolina State's victory was the shutting down of Rasheed Sulaimon.
We had seen it stated many previous times before, a key for Duke winning this game was Rasheed Sulaimon having a big game. And that obviously did not happen. The freshmen was 0 of 10 from the field, only scoring four points, all of them coming from the charity stripe.
It was a big game for both teams, an undefeated streak hung in the balance, and a chance to show the other teams in the ACC, that Duke is not the only team they have to fear.