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(4) Ohio State (4-0) at (2) Duke (6-0)



Wednesday, November 28, 9:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, College Basketball Senior Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) -- Durham, North Carolina. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Ohio St. 2-0, Duke 2-0. Away Record: Ohio St. 0-0, Duke 0-0. Neutral Record: Ohio St. 2-0, Duke 4-0. Conference Record: Ohio St. 0-0, Duke 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 3-3.

GAME NOTES: Top-five foes take the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday evening, as the fourth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes take on the second-ranked Duke Blue Devils as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils have certainly embarked on a challenging start to their season, winning all six of their games, including clashes with a air of top-five foes at the time in victories over defending national champion Kentucky (75-68) and most recently, topping Louisville to claim the Battle 4 Atlantis crown last weekend.

Thad Matta's Buckeyes have won all their games on the docket as well, including winning the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. Most recently, Ohio State moved to 4-0 with last Friday's rout of UMKC (91-45).

These two teams are meeting for the seventh time. Ohio State tied the series up at 3-3 with last year's 85-63 lopsided win in Columbus as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Buckeyes were able to empty the bench for much of the second half, as they cruised to a 46-point romp over UMKC. Deshaun Thomas led the team with 21 points and eight rebounds in the win. Four others finished in double figures as well, as Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 13 points to the cause, followed by Sam Thompson (11 pts), LaQuinton Ross (11 pts) and Shannon Scott (10 pts), who matched his scoring output with a game-high 10 assists. Ohio State shot a blistering .608 from the floor in the game, including .563 from behind the arc (9-of-16).

Ohio State has really excelled at both ends of the floor and as a result, enjoys a gaudy +22.5 scoring margin, averaging 79.8 ppg, while allowing just 57.2. In addition, OSU holds a +6.5 rebounding margin and is forcing 14.5 turnovers per game. Thomas has played lights out in the early going, converting 54 percent from the floor overall, 48 percent from 3-point range (12-of-25) and putting up 24.0 ppg. Aaron Craft runs the offense and is both a scorer (14.3 ppg) and deft distributor (5.2 apg). Smith rounds out the top scoring threats with 11.5 ppg.

The Blue Devils held a 23-9 scoring advantage at the free-throw line, a key in the team's five-point win over the Cardinals in the Bahamas. All five starters notched double figures in the win, led by Mason Plumlee's 16 points. Quinn Cook was right behind with 15 points, while Ryan Kelly, Rasheed Sulaimon and Seth Curry all added 14 points in the win.

Duke has been efficient at both ends of the floor as well, although its scoring margin (+13.2) isn't quite as eye-popping at Ohio State. However, the competition has been far stiffer. The Blue Devils are still averaging just under 80 points per game (78.2), while shooting .474 from the field. Mason Plumlee has become one of the ACC's top interior players. The 6-foot-10 senior is converting an impressive 67.2 percent of his shots, averaging a double- double with team-highs of 19.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Seth Curry adds the perimeter balance at 17.0 ppg, while Sulaimon (12.0 ppg), Kelly (11.8 ppg) and Cook (10.7 ppg) provide more than enough firepower in support.

The Blue Devils are playing their third Final Four participant from last year and the season is only a couple of weeks old. Duke already looks to be in mid- season form and getting this one in Durham, with a bit of revenge following last season's debacle in Columbus, tips the scales in the home team's favor.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 74, Ohio State 70

11/28 10:37:42 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 10
NOS 28
Final
ORL 98
WAS 105
Final
MIN 97
DET 91
Final
CLE 90
NYK 95
Final
DAL 120
UTA 102
4th
LAC 75
OKC 67
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
MEM
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
CLE
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
PHI
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
LAC
 
Final
LOU 31
FSU 42
Final
GASO 42
TROY 10
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
CIN
8:02pm Tonight
MEM
TULSA
Final
BUF 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 3
LOS 0
Final
NJD 2
WIN 1
Final
FLA 2
ARI 1
Final
OTT 4
CHI 5
Final
TAM 4
PHI 3
Final
STL 2
ANA 0
Final
MIN 4
SJS 3
Final
COL 5
NYI 0
Final
VAN 3
MON 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LOS
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
NAS
 
Final
CAR 10
NOS 28