You always can expect a great matchup when two ACC basketball teams get together, so this game between the fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils and the Virginia Tech Hokies is sure to be a good one.
The Blue Devils are 18-3 and 5-1 in the ACC and are still looking to get over their upset loss at home to Florida State just a few games ago, despite two good wins after.
I can only imagine that getting a big-time ACC win would go a long ways in healing up that wound.
The Hokies, on the other-hand, have lost six of their last seven and seem to be sliding, so a win against the No. 5 team in the country would go a long ways in turning their season around.
Both teams need this game, and the implications are huge. This should lead to a very intense matchup.
Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA
When: Thurs. Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. EST
Listen: 102.9 FM WKIX, 620 AM WDNC Durham; 105.3 FM WBRW Blacksburg
Betting Line: Duke -5.5 via bovada.net
Duke: No Injuries Reported
Virginia Tech: Forward J.T. Thompson—out for season (knee).
Report Via USA Today
What's At Stake?
This is a big game for Duke, who can't afford another big upset loss, and that's exactly what the Hokies did to them last season on this court. The Hokies need this game for momentum's sake, as they could turn their season around with a huge win.
What They're Saying:
of fayobserver.com talks to Duke freshman guard about Duke's struggles as of late and what they can do to improve.
Brooks Tiffany of Collegiate Times writes how this young basketball team is going through some growing pains and how, even though they are talented, they need to put it together for a full game.
Duke Player To Watch:
Junior forward Mason Plumlee is the guy to watch on the Duke side of things. In an ACC matchup where the teams are familiar with each other, it's going to come down to fundamentals, post play and rebounding.
With 12 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, Plumlee is going to be key to keeping this Blue Devils team settled.
Virginia Tech Player To Watch:
Guard Erick Green is averaging 15.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game this season. He's going to have to step up and be a start for the Hokies if they want to beat Duke.
Green is going to have to improve on all of his season averages in a big way and carry his team to a win.
I like the matchup between the two guards—Green and Duke freshman Austin Rivers.
Both can put up points, and in this game, the bigger star will come out on top.
I'd like to predict an upset here, but I think Coach K is going to have his guys ready.
Duke 86, Virginia Tech 78