Duke Basketball

Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Will Roll Through ACC Tournament with Ease

DURHAM, NC - MARCH 02:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after their game against the Miami Hurricanes at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 2, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Josh SchochAnalyst IIIMarch 12, 2013

The ACC tournament might usually be a demanding week, but this year the Duke Blue Devils will run through the tourney with ease.

Mike Krzyzewski's bunch came up just short of the ACC regular season title, finishing one game back of No. 9 Miami. However, the team can still take home the tournament championship and win the 20th ACC championship in school history.

Let's take a look at the top reasons why Duke will leave Greensboro with yet another conference tournament championship.

 

Mason Plumlee's Dominance

There isn't a better big man in the ACC than Plumlee. While Miami's Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson make up a formidable frontcourt as well, neither can compare with Plumlee.

Plumlee was constantly double-teamed when Ryan Kelly was out with an injury, but now he has to be covered by just one defender. That leaves Plumlee open to dominate the game, and he proved once again that he can own the paint in his last outing.

While playing on the road against arch-rival North Carolina, Plumlee totaled 23 points and 13 rebounds while absolutely demolishing the Tar Heels' bigs.

The only time this season that Plumlee was bested in the ACC was against Maryland's Alex Len, but with Ryan Kelly at his side, Plumlee will be able to outplay Len and the Terrapins.

 

Seth Curry's Lights-Out Shooting

If you watched Duke beat North Carolina you were treated to one of the best shooting performances in college basketball in a while.

Curry came out and made his first seven shots, nearly setting off the fire alarm because he was so hot.

Curry has shot an incredible 14-of-24 from the floor in his last two games combined, including 7-of-15 from three. He is averaging 20.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game during that span, and he's absolutely lighting up opponents.

If Curry continues to shoot this well in the ACC tournament, Duke won't have any problems winning it all.

 

Ryan Kelly's return

Nothing gave Duke a shot in the arm like the return of big man Ryan Kelly.

After starting the season 15-0 before Kelly went down with an injury, Duke has since gone 3-0 since his return, for a record of 18-0 when Kelly plays, including four wins over Top Five teams.

Kelly dropped a career-high 36 points and grabbed seven boards in his against Miami. He has worked his way back, and is now meshing with his teammates.

Kelly's 6'11" frame helps Duke rebound and contend inside, while his ability to make three's extends the defense.

He's a huge part of Duke's success, and having him back for the ACC tournament essentially gives Duke the championship.

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