In College Basketball there is such a thing known as the trap game. It is one where a team overlooks their current opponent in anticipation of the next. That may be exactly what the Duke Blue Devils are facing as they encounter a struggling Virginia Cavalier team Sunday night on the road.
Duke has three games remaining in the regular season, and if they have any real desire to sneak an NCAA #1 seed then they have to win out. That means winning two straight on the road and handling UNC at Cameron on Senior Night.
Without a doubt their toughest game remaining is against a tough and peaking Maryland team on the road. All of the Duke players know that and if they aren't mentally prepared for Virginia then the Terps could steal Duke's perceived ACC title.
On the floor, Duke is a much better team than Virginia. Their top 3 is one of the top two scoring trios in the land, and Brian Zoubek is emerging as a true force down low. Zoub is averaging close to a double double over the past four games with two 15+ rebounding games.
Throughout the season Duke has rode their defense to victory time and time again. If this same D shows up, then this one shouldn't be close. Coach K understands that this team needs to keep getting better and will do his best to keep his team pushing toward March on the positive.
If Virginia is going to play the role of spoiler they will need need accomplish two key things. They will need to hit the boards hard and out rebound Duke, as well as shoot in upwards of 60% from the field.
Virginia has struggled all season to score points. They score less than 60 points per game, and if they are going to upset Duke they will need to play like this is their last game.
Expect Duke to head to Virginia ready to play. K is not your typical coach, and this is one of those wins that can sit on the head coach's shoulders. Virginia just isn't strong enough to pressure the ACC's best. This is not going to be a trapt game, but will be a true tune up for Maryland! Expect to see one of the best versions of Duke so far this season.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!