Duke Playing for Seeding
The Duke Blue Devils lead the ACC and are trying to play their way into a No. 2 seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
The Virginia Cavaliers are squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble and desperately need a win here to feel a lot safer and more optimistic about their chances.
Blue Devils on Roll
The Blue Devils have won four straight games since losing to Virginia two weeks ago. The Blue Devils’ offense has been in a good rhythm, though the defense has wobbled at times.
Duke has been good enough to maintain its place at the top of the ACC, but it has not displayed the overwhelming form many experts were expecting at the start of the season, which the Blue Devils briefly displayed in November wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga.
Consider this past Saturday: Duke did beat a shorthanded Florida State team that has multiple starters out for the season with injuries.
However, Florida State shot 70 percent from the field in the first 17 minutes and stayed close for a full half. That’s the kind of thing which that Duke appear less imposing than it should be.
At one end of the floor or another, the Blue Devils have shown enough weaknesses that they don’t look like a complete product. One or two pieces are always missing from the full Duke equation.
Cavaliers Showing Some Fight
Virginia is not terrifically talented, but it is certainly resilient. It just beat Miami on the road after losing at Virginia Tech a few nights earlier.
Virginia won at Duke on Feb. 7 on a 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds. The Cavaliers are moving closer to the NCAA Tournament bubble, but they probably need this game to get in the 68-team field.
Virginia has a tried-and-true formula of leaning on its defense and hoping perimeter jumpers will fall. When shots fall, this team is extremely tough.
However, the Cavaliers have not shot well for much of the season and are therefore always living on the edge between success and failure.
Virginia was terrible against Virginia Tech but scored 74 points at Miami, an unusually high score for the Cavaliers.
It is hard to figure this team out in terms of knowing when it will shoot well, but in terms of the formula it uses on the court, it’s always defense first under Bennett.
Duke at Virginia Head-to-Head
This game is a rematch of a Feb. 7 game in which Duke carried a two-point lead into the final seconds, but lost at home on a Virginia 3-pointer.
Duke did not guard the inbounder on an inbounds pass. A simple flare-out to the left wing and a timely pass created an open shot in which no Duke defender was close to the play.
Duke vs Virginia Game Information
- Game: Duke Blue Devils (23-4) at Virginia Cavaliers (17-10)
- Location: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
Duke at Virginia Betting Lines
Duke vs Virginia Prediction
The fact that Duke has already lost to Virginia should make the Blue Devils extremely focused for this game.