For the first time since 1995, the NC State Wolfpack defeated the Duke Blue Devils in the house of horrors/polo shirts known as Cameron Indoor Stadium. For long-suffering NC State fans, the 84-82 victory had just about everything, and delivered 21 years worth of exhilaration.
Did Duke blow a lead and lose in embarrassing fashion? Yessir. The Blue Devils led by nine points with under seven minutes remaining, but NC State retook the lead with a 20-5 run, held off a Duke rally, and sealed the game with a last-second steal.
Did the Wolfpack's future lottery pick freshman Dennis Smith Jr. excel? Most definitely. The dynamic guard finished with a career-high 32 points, the highest total by a freshman at Cameron since J.J. Redick in 2003.
Did the players stand up to the standard dickishness of Duke superstar and early-'90s wrestling heel Grayson Allen? Absolutely.
Allen, known for his tripping and coach-pushing, tried to walk directly through the developing NC State huddle instead of walking around with his teammates. It was a classic move from the kid who has become the living embodiment of every pointless pettiness associated with Duke. Every good tale of triumph needs an appropriate villain, and Allen is always happy to oblige.
The loss drops Duke to 3-4 in the ACC, just a half-game behind the 3-5 Wolfpack. But this was far more than just an important league win on the road for NC State. This was two decades worth of catharsis, and just about worth the wait.