Wake Forest entered Saturday’s game against Duke with a grim outlook for the NCAA Tournament, but the Demon Deacons helped their chances in a big way.

On Friday, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi updated his bracketology with Wake Forest squarely landing on the bubble. In fact, the Demon Deacons were Lunardi’s “first team out” of the March Madness field with Utah, Ole Miss and Villanova behind them. On the other side of the bubble, Lunardi listed Seton Hall, Providence, Gonzaga and Texas A&M as the last teams in the tournament.

Fortunately, Wake Forest dialed up a huge upset against the Blue Devils by outscoring Duke 47-41 in the second half of the 83-79 victory. Hunter Sallis led 4 Wake Forest players in double figures with a game-high 29 points on an incredible 5-for-6 shooting effort from 3-point range.

Andrew Carr (18 points) and Kevin Miller (15 points) were the next highest-scoring Demon Deacons while Cameron Hildreth delivered 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals and shot 7-for-8 from the free-throw line.

On the other side of the matchup, the Demon Deacons forced Duke into 11 turnovers including a handful in the final minutes of the game. Duke’s Kyle Filipowski led the Blue Devils with 17 points but was just 1-for-6 from 3-point range, and his status was the focus in the aftermath.

As Wake Forest students flooded the court, Filipowski was bumped and spun around before appearing to come up hobbled. Broadcast cameras captured Filipowski being helped to the locker room by assistants, and it will be interesting to see what head coach Jon Scheyer has to say about the incident and Filipowski’s status.

Impact of Wake Forest’s win

In the immediate aftermath, Lunardi updated his bracketology and now has Wake Forest in the “last four” teams in the tournament. The Demon Deacons leap-frogged Texas A&M and Gonzaga in Lunardi’s seeding projections, pending games for those two teams to be played later on Saturday.

Even if Wake Forest finishes Saturday as one of the last four in, the work is far from finished to secure the postseason bid. The Demon Deacons must face Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Clemson before the start of the ACC Tournament. There is not a lot Wake Forest can gain from wins against those teams, but a loss would likely spell disaster for the NCAA Tournament hopes.

Wake Forest has not advanced to the NCAA Tournament since the 2016-17 season, looking for its first bid to the Big Dance in 7 years. We’ll see if Steve Forbes can get his group over the hump down the stretch.