Sports

Carolina (and Duke and Deacon) blues: Tobacco Road schools stumble at start of ACC play

  • Virginia's Justin Anderson (1) blocks the shot of North Carolina State's Ralston Turner (22) during the second half of Virginia's 76-45 victory of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Virginia's Justin Anderson (1) blocks the shot of North Carolina State's Ralston Turner (22) during the second half of Virginia's 76-45 victory of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik yells to his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 80-65. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik yells to his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 80-65. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)  (The Associated Press)

Looks as if there's a dead end on Tobacco Road.

Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest entered the week a combined 3-9 in Atlantic Coast Conference play after losing on the same day for perhaps the first time in the storied history of this hoops hotbed.

The Tar Heels (10-6, 0-3) have last place all to themselves. The Blue Devils, Wolfpack and Demon Deacons (each 1-2 in the ACC) are part of an eight-team tie for next-to-last.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Monday that his team and Duke in particular "really have been pretty doggone good and have stood the test of time."

He wonders if "this is a bad year or a bad month or a bad week or two bad games. Who knows?"

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