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(6) Duke (22-3) at Virginia Tech (11-14)



Thursday, February 21, 9 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, College Basketball Senior Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Cassell Coliseum (9,847) -- Blacksburg, Virginia. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Duke 13-0, Virginia Tech 8-6. Away Record: Duke 3-3, Virginia Tech 2-6. Neutral Record: Duke 6-0, Virginia Tech 1-2. Conference Record: Duke 9-3, Virginia Tech 2-10. Series Record: Duke leads, 40-8.

GAME NOTES: With the chances of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular- season dwindling, the sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils set their sights on finishing strong, starting with Thursday night's clash with the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Although, Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils sport an identical 22-3 overall record as the Miami Hurricanes, it is Miami sitting atop the league standings, holding a three and a half game lead in the standings. Duke's shot at catching the red-hot Hurricanes may have ended last weekend, with an 83-81 setback at Maryland, dropping the team to 9-3 in conference play and bringing an end to a six-game win streak for Duke.

James Johnson's first season in Blacksburg has not exactly gone according to plan. The Hokies are a mere 11-14 overall, thanks mostly to the team's struggles in-conference. Virginia Tech resides in the conference cellar at 2-10 and is currently mired in an eight-game losing streak. The Hokies almost ended the skein last weekend, but lost a heart-breaking overtime decision at NC State, 90-86.

Duke has dominated this series, holding a 40-8 series advantage all-time. The Blue Devils have won four straight and eight of the last nine meetings, overall.

It came down to free throws in the end and unfortunately for Duke, it was Maryland that got the last opportunity at the charity stripe, with freshman Seth Allen sinking two free throws to propel the Terrapins to victory over the Blue Devils. Seth Curry did his best to get Duke in the win column, pouring in 25 points in the loss. Quinn Cook posted 18 points and Josh Hairston finished with 1l. Duke forced Maryland into 26 turnovers, but the Terps outrebounded the Blue Devils, 40-20.

Duke is at its best when senior forward Mason Plumlee is dominating on the inside. He has done that on a regular basis this year, shooting .595 from the floor overall and leading Duke in both scoring (17.6 ppg) and rebounding (10.4 rpg). Curry is the perfect complement with his perimeter accuracy, netting 16.9 ppg, shooting .419 from behind the arc (62-of-148). Cook (12.3 ppg) and Rasheed Sulaimon (11.7 ppg) have picked up the scoring slack caused by a foot injury to sharp-shooter Ryan Kelly (13.4 ppg).

Erick Green filled up the basket again, netting a game-high 29 points, but it wasn't enough in the overtime loss to the Wolfpack. Jarell Eddie added 17 points off the bench and Marshall Wood recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, but NC State took advantage of 43 attempts from the free-throw line, outscoring Tech 31-11 from the charity stripe.

Green has been doing it all season long and remains the nation's top scorer, netting 25.3 ppg. With his scoring prowess, it is a bit of a surprise to see Green tops on the team in assists as well, doling out 4.1 apg. Eddie (13.0 ppg) is a distant second in the scoring column for Tech, which has little depth after him. Overall, Virginia Tech is averaging a modest 71.4 ppg, doing so on a mere 42.0 percent shooting.

The Hokies have a dynamic player in Green, but not enough in terms of a supporting cast to knock off the Blue Devils in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 74, Virginia Tech 58

02/21 10:33:10 ET

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Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
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CHA
BOS
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 4
Final
WAS 11
MIA 7
Final
BAL 5
MIN 6
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STL 2
NYM 3
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HOU 0
NYY 7
Final
ATL 2
PIT 4
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BOS 3
TAM 2
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TOR 2
BAL 4
Final
ANA 6
CIN 8
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KAN 0
CHC 7
Final
CLE 1
CWS 4
Final
SFG 11
LOS 9
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OAK 7
MIL 0
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SDP 8
SEA 5
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LOS 10
TEX 5
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COL 2
ARI 1
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ARI 10
COL 11
1:05pm Today
DET
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
PHI
 
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STL
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
COL
 
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TEX
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
ANA
 
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CIN
SDP
 
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CHC
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
LOS
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
TOR
 
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BOS
MIN
 
Final
WAS 91
HOU 99
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BRK 107
LAL 99
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NOP 110
MIN 88
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CLE 87
PHI 86
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MIA 109
DET 102
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BOS 106
LAC 119
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IND 104
DAL 99
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SAN 103
MEM 89
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PHO 97
OKC 109
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CHA
BOS
 
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PHI
LAL
 
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TOR
HOU
 
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ATL
MIL
 
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MEM
SAC
 
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MIN
UTA
 
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POR
PHO
 
Final
LOU 70
MSU 76
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
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LOYC
LAMON
 
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NYR 2
WAS 5
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CAR 1
BOS 2
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NAS 2
CAL 5
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NYI 5
DET 4
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OTT 2
FLA 4
Final
NJD 1
ANA 2
Final
WIN 3
CHI 4
Final
PIT 3
SJS 2
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MON
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
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9:00pm Tonight
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