DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke may have stumbled upon an unorthodox recipe for success in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament: Lose to North Carolina first.
Five times since 2003, the Blue Devils (26-5) were beaten in the regular-season finale by the hated rival Tar Heels and then went on to win the ACC tournament.
As they prepare to head to Atlanta for this weekend's tournament, they're in that position once again after they were routed 88-70 on their home court with the ACC's regular-season title and No. 1 seed on the line.
Second-seeded Duke begins play Friday night against the Clemson-Virginia Tech winner.
Guard Seth Curry said Tuesday that "you've just got to wipe the slate clean" and refocus on pursuing a fourth straight ACC tournament title.