Duke Basketball

Duke Looks to Bounce Back Against Virginia

Jason RitchieContributor IFebruary 1, 2009

On Wednesday, Duke took the nation's top ranking into Winston-Salem to face the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, and came out with their first conference loss of the season.

Today, they look to put that loss behind them and maintain their hold on the top spot in the conference.

Standing in their way? The Virginia Cavaliers, who come into Cameron with a 7-9 overall record (1-4 in conference). But, as Georgia Tech proved last night against the very same Wake Forest team that beat Duke, in the ACC, there is no such thing as an upset.

On paper, this looks like a good matchup for Duke. Virginia has several big guys, but doesn't play them very much. They have three players listed at 6-11 or taller, yet they average a combined 30.1 minutes, 5.9 points, and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Virginia's biggest scoring threats come in the form of 6-6 freshman guard Sylven Landesberg (17.1 ppg) and 6-8 sophomore forward Mike Scott (11.3 ppg). No one else on the roster is currently averaging double digits in points.

Let's take a look at the numbers, shall we?

Scoring:

Duke - 79.7 ppg

Virginia - 74.3 ppg

Rebounding:

Duke - 40.3 rpg

Virginia - 39.6 rpg

Field Goal Percentage (3pt Percentage):

Duke - 46.2 percent (34.3 percent)

Virginia - 42.2 Percent (29.7 percent)

Turnovers:

Duke - 13.9

Virginia - 14.3

In addition to these numbers, Duke also forces more steals (9.3 vs. 6.2), assists on more baskets (14.5 vs. 12.8), and commits fewer fouls (17.6 vs. 18.6). Nearly all the numbers point in Duke's favor, and with the Devils coming off a loss, they will have no lack of focus.

Fearless Prediction:

I think that Duke will jump out on the Cavaliers early, putting this one away in the first half, and cruising in the second on their way to a twenty-point victory. Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson will be the high scorers for Duke in this one.

Final Score:

Duke 86

Virginia 64

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