The common thought after the first two months of the 2014-15 college basketball season was that Kentucky was the best team in the country, and that Duke was the only squad with a legitimate chance of stopping them.
It made sense. The Blue Devils were loaded with NBA talent and had rolled through their first 14 opponents, a stretch that included arguably the season's most impressive victory, an 80-70 win over Wisconsin inside the Kohl Center.
Now, suddenly, that line of thinking has evaporated.
Miami became the second straight team to take down Duke Tuesday night, dismantling the Blue Devils inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, 90-74. The Hurricanes shot a blistering 51.8 percent from the floor, including 10-of-20 from behind the 3-point line. Four Hurricanes scored in double figures, led by Angel Rodriguez's 24 points and Manu Lecomte's 23. The torrid shooting allowed the Canes to run away with the game despite being outrebounded 41-31.
Here are three things we learned from this surprising result in Durham:
1. Angel Rodriguez loves the big stage
Rodriguez, who is in his first year at Miami after transferring from Kansas State, spoke before the game about his eagerness to show what he can do in his first appearance at Cameron Indoor. He didn't disappoint, burying four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 24 points, while also chipping in five assists and five steals.
After a slow start to begin the game, Rodriguez exploded for 8 points in a span of 38 seconds to help the Hurricanes turn a six-point deficit into a two-point lead.
Angel Rodriguez is cooking in Cameron. https://t.co/0iRclC7yaa— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) January 14, 2015
Rodriguez has emerged as not only Jim Larranaga's most talented player, but his undisputed leader and most clutch performer. He scored 24 points in the Miami's November victory over then-No. 8 Florida, and dropped 25 in a double overtime loss to still undefeated Virginia. He's the single biggest reason why Miami appears on its way back to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year hiatus.
2. Some of the defensive woes that doomed Duke last season are still around
There were hoards of awful jokes about Duke not deserving the "D" at the beginning of their name last season, as the Blue Devils commonly allowed opponents to drop some massive numbers on them. It was a trend that ultimately led to their undoing, as they ran into a Mercer team that could shoot the lights (especially when left wide open) out in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 64.
3. The nation's longest homecourt winning streak is dead
The Blue Devils had won 41 straight games at Cameron Indoor, the nation's longest home winning streak, and the third-longest in both program and ACC history. Before Tuesday, Duke hadn't been beaten at home since North Carolina did the trick on March 3, 2012. This also marked the first time that Duke has lost back-to-back regular season games since 2009.
The new owner of the homecourt winning streak record? Gonzaga, which has won 34 straight at the McCarthey Athletic Center.