The gantlet is coming for Duke.
To call it tough would be underselling the six-game stretch that awaits the Blue Devils at the end of this week. Toughest is better, because that's what it literally is. The toughest scheduled six-game stretch. For any team. At any point this season. Past or present.
No offense to Boston College, but we're actually previewing the six-contest stretch of heavyweights that begins after the Blue Devils beat the Eagles Tuesday (coaches advise against overlooking opponents, but there's no such creed for writers)
From Feb. 9 to Feb. 26, from at Virginia to at Virginia Tech, no team this year has or will have it tougher -- not that anyone is feeling sorry for the Blue Devils.
Duke has just a 7 percent chance of coming out of the stretch unscathed, according to BPI, and a 64 percent chance of picking up multiple losses.
To be clear, those numbers are no function of a Duke weakness. BPI is quite fond of the Blue Devils (though not as much as it loves the Cavaliers -- more on that in a minute). This is simply a matter of quality opponents and a few road games. You'll see that Duke's chance in these games isn't particularly low, and for nearly anyone else it would be.
If the Blue Devils are going to falter in the regular season, it most likely will be during this run. So let's break down the six contests and see which are most likely to trip up Duke in its quest for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.