The Duke Blue Devils and Virginia Cavaliers are two of the top three teams in college basketball, and they will meet up for the second time on Saturday night. Duke earned a 72-70 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the first matchup of the season, and Virginia will be looking for revenge in this game. The winner of this game will stay in first place in the ACC, with the loser falling a game off the pace.
Virginia’s lone loss of the season came against Duke, and they have rattled off four straight wins since that loss. The Cavaliers bring a 20-1 record into this game, and they the number-three ranked team in the country. Duke has won six straight ACC games, and enter this game with an overall record of 20-2. The Blue Devils are the second-ranked team in the country, and they might have the most talent. Virginia is -2.5 over Duke in this revenge game.
Duke Has Been Dominant of Late
If you have watched Duke in any of their most recent games, you would be left wondering how they have two losses on the season. The Blue Devils have been dominating teams of late and have outscored opponents by an average of 22 points per game this season. Duke is averaging 87 points per game so far this season while allowing just over 65 points per contest. The Blue Devils don’t have a very deep roster, but they have plenty of talent to stay on top off the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Zion Williamson gets all of the hype and publicity, and for good reason, but he might not even be the best player on his team. Williamson is averaging 22 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting better than 68 percent from the floor. While Williamson does most of his work inside the paint, teammate RJ Barrett can do a little bit of everything and has carried the Blue Devils in several games this season. Barrett is averaging 23 points per game but has the ability to get 30 in almost any game. Throw in Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones and the Blue Devils have a ridiculously talented freshmen class. Those freshmen will get a huge road test against the Cavaliers on Saturday.
Virginia’s Experience Should Guide Them
Duke is trying to get the job done with freshman, but the Virginia Cavaliers are the exact opposite. Virginia is a proven, veteran team that knows how to navigate through a difficult ACC basketball season. The Cavaliers are the best defensive team in the country once again this season, allowing under 53 points per game. Virginia could still use some more balance and contributions on offense, but their defense keeps them in almost every game.
The Cavaliers have just three players averaging double-figures this season, but all three of those players are proven scorers. De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome have combined to score more than 42 points per game, and all three of them are shooting better than 40 percent from the three-point line. Virginia has some other players that contribute, but it will be these three that will have to lead them to victory in this game.
Cavaliers Beat Duke at Home
It is extremely difficult to look at that Duke roster and pick them to lose in any game. The Blue Devils have a ton of NBA talent, and they can score points in a hurry. The fact that they are on the road for this game is the only reason that I think Virginia will win. Tony Bennett’s squad has won big games like this in the past, and they will get revenge on Duke in this game. Bet the Virginia Cavaliers -2.5 over Duke on Saturday night.