In an ACC battle that could possibly decide a top seed in the NCAA tournament, the No. 5 Miami Hurricanes take on the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday night.
Currently 14-1 in ACC play, the upperclassmen-loaded Miami knocked the Blue Devils off their No. 1-ranked perch back in January with a dominating 90-63 victory. Miami has nine juniors and seniors combined.
That win catapulted the then No. 25 ranked Hurricanes into the national spotlight, and ever since they've gone on a 9-1 tear, with their only slip up against Wake Forest on Feb. 23.
In their last go-round, Miami-leading scorer Shane Larkin netted 18 points and 10 rebounds with five assists, while guard Durand Scott pumped in 25 points with six rebounds and two steals.
Duke shot a disappointing 4-for-23 from three, and 29 percent overall from the field, with freshman Rasheed Sulaimon the lone bright spot with 16 points, three assists, and four steals.
Another win over Duke and a strong showing in the ACC Tournament could be Miami’s final push for a No. 1 seed come March Madness.
The No. 3 ranked Blue Devils are fresh off a 73-68 loss to rival Virginia on Thursday, which later led to controversy over head coach Mike Krzyzewski calling for more safety when home crowds storm the court after a huge win.
Duke guard Seth Curry may have taken a page out of his older brother Stephen’s playbook as he’s been on a recent tear. The Golden State Warrior lit up the New York Knicks for 54 points in a losing effort earlier this week, while Seth has averaged 21.5 points over his last four games, including 56 percent shooting beyond the arc.
NBA prospect Mason Plumlee also has four double-doubles in his last six contests, but was relatively quiet against Virginia, going 2-for-5 for 10 points and seven rebounds.
Despite their struggles, Duke is in the Top 10 in points per game and three-point percentage and should be ready for the Hurricanes this time.
The game tips-off at 6 p.m. Eastern time and will be broadcast by ESPN, or you can watch a live online stream on Watch ESPN here, by submitting your cable provider info.
Betting Odds: Duke is favored by 7.5 points
Over/Under: 136 points
Prediction: Curry and Plumlee will have to work an excellent in-and-out game, and will have the Cameron Crazies on their side. How Larkin and Scott control the perimeter, especially Sulaimon’s penetration will be the key. Look for Duke to carry out a convincing win.
Predicted Score: Duke 72, Miami 61
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