Ohio State vs Duke: Complete Game Preview for ACC-Big Ten Challenge Matchup
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Duke Blue Devils will take the court in what will be one of the best matchups of the season. Both teams will be ranked in the Top Five coming into this game, and both teams have the talent to make a Final Four run in March.
However, who has the advantage in this game? Who will win? All of that along with many other questions will be answered in this article.
Read on to find out the complete game preview for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup between Ohio State and Duke.
Game time: 9:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN
Ohio State Buckeyes
Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
The Ohio State Buckeyes come into this game with a 4-0 record. Although the Buckeyes do not have any victories that stick out on their resume, they still have been pretty impressive.
Deshaun Thomas has played beyond expectations, averaging 24 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Although the season has just begun, Thomas is making a statement for being the best player in all of college basketball. However, Duke is much stiffer competition than Thomas and Ohio State have faced all year.
Aaron Craft is going to be the key for the Buckeyes; that is, if they want to win. Craft is averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 assists per game on the year. Coming into the season, Craft was being considered as one of the best pure points guards in the country. He has not disappointed yet, and his defense has also been good.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. has been the biggest surprise on this team so far, putting up 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Outside of those three players, no other Buckeye is averaging 10 or more points per game.
OSU is averaging 79.8 PPG, which is good enough for 35th in the nation. They are also allowing 57.3 PPG.
Duke Blue Devils
Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
The 6-0 Duke Blue Devils are off to an amazing year. Duke started off the season by beating Kentucky, and it just got done beating the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals.
The Blue Devils also beat Minnesota and VCU in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Five players on their team are averaging double digits in points, but it is Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee who are really leading the team. Plumlee is exceeding expectations in his senior year by averaging 19.7 points and 10 rebounds per game. Curry is doing exactly what he was expected to do this year, averaging 17 PPG.
However, you can't forget about Quinn Cook, who was named the MVP for the Battle 4 Atlantis. Cook averaged 13.7 points and 6.3 assists in the tournament.
The other two players who are averaging 10 or more points per game on this team are senior Ryan Kelly (11.8 PPG) and freshman Rasheed Sulaimon (12 PPG).
As a team, Duke is averaging 78.2 PPG and allowing 65 PPG.
Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
This game will be played at Cameron Indoor Stadium, which means bad news for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is definitely capable of winning this game, but this team has not been challenged all season long, whereas the Blue Devils have been tested in four games already.
Duke may have lost against Ohio State last year, but the circumstances were completely different. This year, the Blue Devils have all of the advantages in the world.
OSU will have to contain a number of players on Duke, and the Blue Devils will really only have to worry about Deshaun Thomas on the offensive side of the ball. If Duke can contain Thomas, then this game will literally be a layup for the home team.
Duke has the momentum and the more well-rounded team in this one, and should come up with the victory. However, you cannot count out Ohio State just yet.
Prediction: Duke wins
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