Duke was embarrassed against Miami in their previous road outing. They will look to put that performance behind them and earn their first ACC road victory tonight at Wake Forest.
Road games in conference play are never easy to win, but when Duke comes to town, it is always that team’s Super Bowl. The fans will be rowdy, it will be a great atmosphere in Winston-Salem and Wake Forest will be as motivated for this game as any on their schedule.
That will not be enough for them to earn a victory.
The Demon Deacons are 10-9 and 3-4 in ACC play. It once looked like they might have turned the corner with a big win against a ranked N.C. State team, but they backed that performance up with a 20-point defeat to bottom-dwelling Georgia Tech.
The Blue Devils should have their way with the Demon Deacons. They defeated Wake Forest 80-62 in their first meeting of the season in Durham. That game was never close and tonight should be no different.
There is, however, a significant difference for the Blue Devils between that game and the upcoming matchup. The difference is the absence of Ryan Kelly.
Kelly had a team-high 22 points in the first matchup, but has been out since Jan. 8 with a foot injury. Look for senior Mason Plumlee to pick up the slack and have a big game for the Blue Devils.
Another difference maker for Duke is guard play. Senior Seth Curry is one of the best three-point shooters in the country, and his ability to take pressure off of the low-post gives the Blue Devils a great inside-out attack making it difficult for Wake Forest to defend.
Another guard who should have a big performance tonight is sophomore Quinn Cook. Cook is averaging 11.1 points and 6.2 assists per game. He facilitates the ball to Duke’s playmakers, and is the catalyst behind an offense that averages 78.2 points per game.
Duke is superior in the frontcourt and the backcourt, so look for them to have a balanced offensive approach in what should be an easy road victory.