ACC Morning Five: 02.14.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 14th, 2012

  1. Duke Magazine: This is a very, very good profile of Mike Krzyzewski by Bridget Booher. She covers his love for gardening, his hiring at Duke, his surgery and his future retirement. The article looks at the challenges Krzyzewski has faced as a coach, and the solutions he and his family came up with to deal with them. How many articles are you going to read with an A Farewell To Arms reference today? I wish the article talked about his Olympic coaching, but this is definitely the must-read article of the day.
  2. Fayetteville Observer: Stephen Schramm and Bret Strelow picked their mid-season ACC awards. First, I agree completely that player of the year is a two-man race between Mike Scott and Tyler Zeller. Scott holds the edge because of his relative importance for the Cavaliers, but Zeller is definitely gaining ground. For coach of the year I think Steve Donahue is a legitimate choice despite his team’s struggles. The Eagles are demolishing expectations despite being inexperienced, unathletic and untalented (that’s a little harsh but only by a little). I would give a little more love to Bernard James for defensive player of the year, though I think John Henson and Jontel Evans are strong candidates as well. For most improved, Mason Plumlee and Richard Howell also probably deserve mentions.
  3. Mobile Press-Register: Tommy Hicks checked in with Mark Gottfried about his new job at North Carolina State, sandwiched near Duke and North Carolina. Gottfried compared the intensity to a hypothetical situation of Alabama having LSU 20 miles away and Auburn 10 miles away. If he was being historically accurate, I think NC State is more like Auburn (minus the Cam Newton experience).
  4. ACC Sports Journal: Rivalry games are funny things. They’re built up and built up, but in the end it’s one win or one loss and takes no longer than any other game. That’s what Duke and North Carolina are trying to deal with right now. Coach K used footage from Duke’s wins over UNLV and Kentucky from the early 1990s (en route to national championships) to try to teach sustained effort. Meanwhile Roy Williams tried to move past the disappointing loss and on to greater tests.
  5. Orlando Sentinel: “You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it.” That’s the adage Mike Bianchi used to describe former Florida State athletic director Dave Hart, who hired and stuck with head coach Leonard Hamilton. It still blows my mind that, even this year, Seminole fans have called for Hamilton’s job. Sure hindsight is always 20/20, but Hamilton has Florida State with its best chance to win an ACC regular season title for the first time ever. That’s pretty good.
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Set Your TiVo: 02.11.12 – 02.12.12

Posted by Brian Otskey on February 10th, 2012

Brian Otskey is the Big East correspondent for RTC and a regular contributor. You can find him @botskey on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

Plenty of top 25 games are on Saturday’s slate while conference races heat up and bubble teams look for key wins.

#20 Virginia at #5 North Carolina – 1:00 PM EST Saturday on ESPN FullCourt/ (****)

  • Coming off the crushing home loss to Duke on Wednesday, how will the Tar Heels respond? Without P.J. Hairston (sore foot) in the lineup, things could get a little dicey for #5 UNC. Hairston’s absence severely limits Carolina’s already thin back court depth. This game is going to be all about pace. Virginia plays at one of the slowest paces in the nation while North Carolina is one of the fastest teams. Point guard Kendall Marshallhas to get his team running as much as they can but we’ve seen time and time again how it is much easier to slow a game down than it is to speed it up. Wisconsin did this effectively at the Dean Dome earlier this season and you’re going to see the same blueprint from Virginia. The Cavaliers do a great job defending the three-point arc so UNC will likely get almost all of its points from inside or the free throw line. The Tar Heels are among the bottom five teams in America in terms of threes attempted to begin with and get 61.8% of their points from two-point range on average. Marshall and his teammates must be able to penetrate and move the ball well against Virginia’s strong half court defense.

    How Will Marshall & The Tar Heels Respond To Tuesday's Last Second Loss?

  • Virginia’s biggest strengths are its defense and play of forward Mike Scott. At 60.3% from the field, Scott is among the best interior players in the nation, but will have to receive some help from a thin UVA front line in this game. Led by Tyler Zeller and John Henson, North Carolina has a ton of height up front that could give Scott a lot of problems. With Assane Sene still out with an ankle injury, the burden of helping Scott against UNC’s imposing front line falls to Akil Mitchell. His presence will be needed more on the defensive end to limit Zeller and Henson but Virginia is not going to win if Scott doesn’t score. Mitchell must be enough of a threat to prevent quick double teams on Scott, allowing him to maneuver around the UNC trees. Defensively, Virginia will look to pack its defense in and prevent Marshall from penetrating and dishing to Zeller and Henson. Making opponents take tough shots is something Virginia does really well and the Cavaliers will need to do it again. Harrison Barnes will likely oblige but Mitchell and Scott must force Zeller and Henson into shots outside the paint or falling away from the basket. If you allow those guys to receive the ball in the paint, you’re finished.
  • Even though Virginia will likely slow the game down to a pace of its liking, the Cavaliers still must score the basketball. Sammy Zeglinski is five for his last 19 from the floor over the past three games and Jontel Evans has to have a good game at the point guard position. Virginia can’t turn the ball over and fuel the Carolina transition attack. It would also help if Joe Harris was knocking down triples, especially if Zeglinski can’t get out of his funk. Keep an eye on rebounding. North Carolina did a great job against Duke, showing some toughness on the glass that we haven’t always seen this year. Virginia is fourth nationally in defensive rebounding percentage but the Cavs really struggle on the offensive end. If the shots aren’t falling, Virginia will have a lot of one and done possessions if it can’t do a better job on the offensive glass. Good rebounding also helps a team control tempo and that’s exactly what Virginia needs to do in order to win this game on the road.

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ACC Morning Five: 02.09.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 9th, 2012

  1. Florida Today: Well, you can tell this article was written early yesterday (an evening article would probably look the exact opposite of this). Overlooked largely because of Duke’s epic comeback against North Carolina was the Seminoles’ equally epic defeat to Boston College. The same Florida State that knocked off Duke on the road and North Carolina by more than 30 couldn’t handle the lowly Eagles. But the thesis from this article remains: Florida State has a very favorable schedule to take at least a share of the ACC title. It was even better before Leonard Hamilton’s team went and coughed up a free road win in Chestnut Hill. Now the questions are about the Seminoles going forward. Are they the team that lost to Boston College and Clemson, or are they the team that beat Duke and North Carolina? Was this game a product of losing focus, or was it a brutal regression to the mean?
  2. Hampton Roads Pilot: Mike Scott continued his under-the-radar quest for ACC Player of the Year with a record-tying 9-9 shooting performance over Wake Forest. Scott finished with 19 points in a rout of the Demon Deacons, and boy was it a rout. Virginia led 40-19 at the half (after shooting a ludicrous 70.8% from the field). That lead only got bigger, moving to 56-23 early in the second half before they coasted.
  3. Sports Business Daily: Well, the verdict is in. ACC schools will reportedly be making one to two million dollars more a year than currently after the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the league. The extra money will push the ACC towards being more competitive with the Pac-12, Big 10 and SEC in that regard. This should at least table the “conference expansion won’t make more money” argument for the time being.
  4. Wall Street Journal: Speaking of money, the Wall Street Journal took a look at the richest schools and conferences based on NBA earnings (for players drafted since 1985). North Carolina and Duke top the list, as the only schools whose alumni NBA salaries surpassed the $800 million dollar mark. Surprisingly, Arizona was third on the list. Even more surprisingly Georgia Tech is seventh. I would have guessed Duke and North Carolina on top, but I never would have suspected Georgia Tech cracked the top 10 (ahead of Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA).
  5. ESPN and Yahoo Sports: Speaking of the Tobacco Road rivals, Austin Rivers hit a pretty big shot last night. The ESPN story is an interview with Doc Rivers, who got to attend the game. It’s worth a watch just to see the pure excitement on the elder Rivers’ face as he jumps up and down hugging his daughter after the shot falls. For a more conventional recap, I suggest Pat Forde’s write-up from the Dean Dome. I’m not sure any story can do the last two and a half minutes justice, but his piece attempts to do so.

Video of the Week:

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ACC Game On: 02.08.12

Posted by KCarpenter on February 8th, 2012

Maryland kicked off a week of excellent ACC matches by eking out a win against struggling Clemson. Terrell Stoglin‘s Superman act remains impressive as he put up 27 points on 11 shots with four steals. Maryland needed every one of those points too, as Clemson took 63 shots while the Terrapins managed only 47.  Winning a game despite such an overwhelming loss in the bottle of possessions is impressive, but I still can’t help but feel that Maryland should be able to beat Clemson without such heroic offensive and defensive efforts.

The Big Game

  • Duke at North Carolina at 9:00 PM on ESPN
Next Stop: Prime Time

It's About That Time Again

The Blue Devils come into this game after suffering the wrath of a suprisingly feisty Hurricanes team. Miami isn’t a bad squad, but Duke should have handled the game without any problem. Their offense is as good as ever, but the defense ranks as the ninth-best in the conference. Meanwhile, Duke is inhabiting a special kind of match-up hell. Robbi Pickeral talked about the defensive problem that 6’8″ Harrison Barnes creates at small forward, but a tougher challenge in my mind will be stopping Carolina’s shooting guards. Austin Rivers might claim to be up for a spell against Barnes and Tyler Thornton is at least a partial answer to Kendall Marshall, but who’s going to spend the game trying to stop the athletic Reggie Bullock? If anyone can crack this match-up puzzle, it’s Mike Krzyzewski, who may have to reach deep onto his bench for solutions (free Michael Gbinije?). Regardless, Duke’s ability to make threes will give the Devils a chance against a North Carolina team that still surrenders too many perimeter shots. Make no mistake, Duke comes into this game as the underdog against a confident Tar Heel team that expects to win this game.

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ACC Morning Five: 02.08.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 8th, 2012

  1. Tallahassee Democrat: Ira Schoffel hits a home run with this profile on Leonard Hamilton. It’s lengthy, but totally worth the time it takes to read. It’s really unfortunate that it will be buried by Duke – North Carolina previews today. Schoffel spent time with many of Hamilton’s friends and family from his days in Gastonia, North Carolina. He may not look it, but Hamilton is the second oldest coach behind Mike Krzyzewski in the ACC. The FSU head coach has had a really inspirational journey from Gastonia to Tallahassee. Even above and beyond the high school story, Hamilton’s coaching resume is very impressive too. Before the year I said Bernard James might have the best story in college basketball, but I might have been wrong. His coach may have him beat.
  2. Raleigh News & Observer: Lame title aside, this is a terrific piece on Austin Rivers from Jack Daly. Rivers went from being a walking cliche — the talented but selfish son of an NBA coach — when he arrived at Duke to something far more compelling once he took the court. Sure, he’s made mistakes. But he’s also Duke’s best offensive weapon. His critics jumped on his early season struggles and have tended to alter the criticisms instead of the narrative as his game improves. It’s clear he has a chip on his shoulder, but I haven’t heard that chip really expressed openly until this piece. He talks about trying to succeed in the shadow of Doc Rivers and the wealth of expectations and dearth of praise (at least at the college level) for his achievements. Daly finishes the piece with a perfect quote from Rivers:

    People always ask what makes me hungry now: I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t done anything yet. I had a great high school career, I was No. 1 – I don’t care. No one cares about that anymore. At Duke, I haven’t won a national championship, I haven’t won an ACC Tournament, I don’t play in the NBA. I haven’t done anything. I have everything that can motivate me.

  3. Continuing the DukeNorth Carolina rivalry trope, Brett Friedlander sat down with several former and current Tar Heels to talk about why they chose the school in Chapel Hill over the one eight miles south in Durham. Former Tar Heel big man Eric Montross seems to hit the nail on the head, calling the decision a “gut feeling” of one school over the other. Whether it’s North Carolina’s adjacent museum, the banners, or meeting Michael Jordan — Tar Heel players walk away from visits just knowing… On the flip side I suspect many players who choose Duke feel the same about Cameron Indoor and its many banners overhead as well. The atmospheres are undeniably different, but the two team’s histories share an excellence.
  4. Chicago Tribune: Miami is quietly building an NCAA Tournament resume now that Reggie Johnson is back in the line-up. The Hurricanes have won five of their last six games and four straight including the overtime win at Duke. That said, the “surprise” part of Miami’s bid foundation (for me) is that it’s taken this long to take hold. Certainly Johnson’s injury didn’t do Jim Larranaga any favors, but if you asked me which new coach was doing the worst job at the start of conference season, I wouldn’t have hesitated calling out the former George Mason coach. Miami still has a lot of work to do. I think it splits with Florida State and avenges a home loss to NC State. If the Hurricanes take care of that business, they’ll have 11 conference wins with the disclaimer that the ugly first half of the season was without Johnson (really 10 wins and a solid performance in the ACC Tournament could do the trick, but better safe than sorry).
  5. Fayetteville Observer: In honor of Duke and North Carolina, Stephen Schramm sat down with @thedevilwolf, one of the best trollers in the business. If you follow ACC basketball much on Twitter, you probably know his handle (but not his name). In addition to timely trolling, he’s also good for insightful comments during games and over on Duke Hoop Blog. Schramm also mentioned another mysterious Tobacco Road Twitter celebrity, @TarHeelWire, who disappeared suddenly after nearly two years of constant tweeting on North Carolina athletics when more and more people sought the identity of the man behind the handle.

EXTRA: Troy Machir over at Ballin’ Is A Habit put out his 2011-12 All-Hair-Team, and the list starts with Mike Scott and his many cornrow designs. No other ACC players make the cut (though Miles Plumlee‘s high and tight makes a defensive cameo).

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ACC Morning Five: 02.03.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 3rd, 2012

  1. Blogger So Dear: This was an interesting discussion on Wake Forest basketball halfway through conference play. It’s long but informative, and I found the differing opinions on Jeff Bzdelik particularly interesting. While most Demon Deacon fans seem to want Bzdelik gone as soon as possible, the consensus here appears to be that he deserves one more year. With a strong class coming in next season, giving him another year definitely makes sense. However, the points remain that his team has struggled the past two years with any offensive consistency. Unlike Steve Donahue (whose lukewarm seat should only be attributed to recruiting), Bzdelik’s coaching strategy is hard to pick out. Maybe it’s a personnel issue, but he may be a little over his head too.
  2. Hampton Roads Pilot: Doug Doughty addresses Mike Scott‘s legacy at Virginia. Scott should be the favorite for ACC player of the year right now (the prohibitive favorite if you ask me), though many seem to think someone from North Carolina will take the honor by year’s end. Even then, barring an epic collapse, Scott should make the first team All-Conference. No Virginia big man since Ralph Sampson in the early ’80s can say that. Only two Virginia players in history have ever won ACC player of the year. Certainly, he’s having the best season since at least when Sean Singletary left Charlottesville.
  3. Roanoke Times: When people think of Austin Rivers, they immediately think Doc Rivers‘ son. It’s the curse of having a famous parent in the same field. There’s also an assumption that goes with it that Rivers is good because his father is an NBA coach. Mark Berman’s interview with the Duke freshman guard reminded me that Doc Rivers was away from home more often than not. The NBA season is long and all over the place. His presence may have instilled a respect for the game of basketball, but it did not guarantee his son’s success. Rivers is coming off his best game of the season against Virginia Tech. He finished with 18 points (on 10 shots), a team-leading five assists and four rebounds. He didn’t force things on offense and played very good defense throughout despite being consistently matched up with taller, more experienced players. It may be time to change his narrative yet again.
  4. Raleigh News & Observer: Bad news for Harrison Barnes and North Carolina. The sophomore star has a sprained ankle. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t play Saturday at Maryland (Roy Williams tends to overestimate injuries). That said, with Duke looming I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get limited minutes.
  5. ESPN: This post is a few days old, but it’s become surprisingly relevant. Chief of officials John Adams thinks there should be more technical fouls. Since his memo dropped four days ago, I’ve seen at least four or five guys T’d up (Mark Turgeon was ejected against Miami). I’m all for enforcing the technical rules more consistently (and harshly if that keeps games from getting out of hand); however, let’s remember that technical fouls count for two free throws and a personal foul. If you’re going to call more, give players six pesrsonal fouls. No one wants to see someone sit for a single taunt. Also I’d be in favor of moving to one free throw instead of the requisite two. As an example, check out the highlights from Duke’s win over Virginia Tech, as Andre Dawkins gets a technical for taunting (though it looked like he just jogged back on defense).
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Where Is The Love? Virginia’s Mike Scott Still Under the Radar

Posted by mpatton on February 2nd, 2012

Below is a chart comparing four potential national player of the year candidates from Mike Rothstein’s media straw poll. The first two columns are ACC players. The second two are national frontrunners. Any idea who each one is?

A Comparison of Four Player of the Year Candidates (credit:

The leftmost column is Mike Scott, who received one — seriously, one — third place vote in the straw poll (along with Julian Mavunga, Arnett Moultrie and Ricardo Ratliffe). The second column is Harrison Barnes, who received one first place vote and one third place vote. The third and fourth columns are Thomas Robinson and Jared Sullinger, respectively. Robinson showcased a commanding lead in the poll with 37 (of 53) first-place votes, seven second-place votes, and five third-place votes. Sullinger finished in third with two first-place votes, 12 second-place votes and 12 third-place votes. If we take the poll at face value, Robinson has dominated college basketball (not an unreasonable statement), Jared Sullinger is doing moderately well and Mike Scott sort of impressed someone — but isn’t playing as well as Barnes.

Luckily, we don’t take straw polls at face value because the truth is far from the votes. Take the above statistics with a slight grain of salt because they don’t include defense at all (Scott, Barnes and Sullingers are all mediocre defenders). But let’s break down the stats one by one.

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ACC Morning Five: 01.20.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 20th, 2012

  1. USA Today: Nicole Auerbach sat down with Mike Scott the “dark horse” ACC Player of the Year candidate (I only use quotation marks because he should be the runaway candidate thus far, but I’m not sure the voters would agree). It’s an interesting interview that touches on Scott’s rehab, Virginia’s success and what it’s like to be a fifth-year senior. Apparently Scott put on a good deal of weight but lost 20 pounds trying to get ready for the season.
  2. Fayetteville Observer: Virginia will get some help in the depth department, at least in practice, from Teven Jones. Jones went to Fishburne Military School for what was supposed to be a postgraduate year, but after a semester his coach suggested he enroll with the Cavaliers. Jones originally drew coaching eyes on the gridiron as a wide receiver, but the combo guard looks like he could be an invaluable weapon offensively in the coming seasons for Virginia.
  3. Washington Post: File this away in the obvious section. Terrell Stoglin needs help from Maryland on the scoring front. He’s responsible for 30.7% of Maryland’s points, and the attention he receives probably makes him even more important than that. Take the Terrapins’ loss to Florida State: Stoglin seemingly dominated the game, scoring 27 points, but he didn’t score at all during the Seminoles’ “game-deciding” 21-5 run. Nick Faust, Sean Mosley, and even Alex Len have all shown flashes of scoring ability, but Mark Turgeon will really need someone to step up to compete in conference play.
  4. Tallahassee Democrat: Speaking of obvious stories, Florida State‘s offense is “suddenly on fire”. After a very slow start (I’m not even sure that does credit to its 10-point half against Princeton), this group of Seminoles is the first ever to score over 80 in back-to-back conference games. Part of the key has been the addition of Ian Miller, who was forced to sit out the beginning of the season. But the real key has been valuing the basketball. If the Seminoles score 80 points this weekend, they will beat Duke more times than not even in Cameron Indoor.
  5. Winston-Salem Journal: Mark Gottfried’s team is going to have to deal with something new–success. Well, if last night’s game was any indication, the Wolfpack dealt with it very well in a big win against Boston College. The score didn’t reflect just how dominant NC State was–especially in the first half (all said and done Richard Howell managed to outrebound the Eagles’ starters). Next up the Wolfpack have a road test against Miami before Mark Gottfried’s first game from the Dean Dome.

EXTRA: I managed to overlook this earlier in the week, but Gary Williams just started analyzing games for ESPN 980 in Washington DC. Williams already works as an analyst for the Big Ten Network, but this should be a chance to get his opinions on the ACC. He’s with the station until April 3.

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ACC Morning Five: 01.13.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 13th, 2012

Before we get started, how about a pretty amazing stat from last night. Duke shot below 50% from the foul line and 25% from three for the first time in school history in its win against Virginia (to be fair, the Cavaliers went 0-11 from three in the second half in a game they lost by three).

  1. Gobbler Country: The Virginia Tech blog takes a look at the Hokies and hands out grades for the starters. Erick Green leads the way with an A followed by Jarell Eddie with a B+. Eddie, in particular, came out of nowhere for me especially. I personally thought the C- for Dorenzo Hudson was generous. True, his numbers aren’t terrible, but I sort of expected him to excel as the second option for Green. The best news from this post is that they still believe in true grades, giving a C to Dorian Finney-Smith despite the fact that “he has nearly met them and exceeded them on the boards”. Take that grade inflation.
  2. Shakin’ The Southland: While we take a jaunt around the blogosphere, this wins the lede of the night: “We just lost to Clifford the Big Red Dog and his merry band of freshmen.” Boston College gets its first conference win! The Eagles pulled off the upset over Clemson exactly how I imagined, knocking down eight threes in a slow game while their opponent went ice cold down the stretch. It’s a great win for the Eagles and a horrendous loss for Clemson coming off an exciting conference opener.
  3. Baltimore Sun: Mark Turgeon needs more out of Ashton Pankey, Terrell Stoglin, and Alex Len. Pankey played some solid games when Len was on the bench, but losing his starting spot has killed his productivity. Turgeon’s criticism of Stoglin seems harsh, but I think–like the other players–it’s really a compliment. As for Len, Turgeon just wants him to get in game shape.
  4. The Sporting News: Sorry to be recap heavy, but it was an important night in conference play. Duke pulled out the victory in the end, but give Virginia a lot of credit. It played Duke too close for comfort all night. Mike Scott showed he’s almost certainly the most valuable player thus far in the conference. On Duke’s side, Mason Plumlee would be en route to a first-team All-Conference season if not for unbelievably bad free throw shooting. Against the Cavaliers, Plumlee finished 2-10 from the charity stripe.
  5. South Florida Sun-Sentinel: About the lone bright spot from Miami’s beatdown at North Carolina was the continuing solid play from Kenny Kadji. Kadji, once a top recruit at IMG Academy, is finally starting to reach his potential. He’s developed a solid jumper in addition to solid post skills (that will certainly be improved with some more weight). Keep an eye on the Miami little-big man going forward.

Speaking of North Carolina and Miami, I failed to notice something about the game. Fred Black, a contributor at Chapelboro, thought the North Carolina crowd has been “boorish” the last couple of games. I was at one of those games and the last thing I would’ve described the crowd as is “boorish.” Also, I love the vague “school up the road” (coughDUKEcough) with a reputation for “boorish” fans [Author’s Note: For the record, some people think he’s referring to NC State, which could be true and would be equally funny.].

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Set Your TiVo: 01.12.12

Posted by bmulvihill on January 12th, 2012

Brendon Mulvihill is an RTC contributor. You can find him @themulv on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

Tonight we’ll see two match-ups that may be previews to conference championship games in the ACC and the WCC. All four teams are in the RTC Top 25 and both games should be fantastic. Let’s take a look at how things break down.

Senior forward Mike Scott takes his efficient offensive skills into Cameron Indoor for UVA's toughest test of the season (The Sabre)

#19 Virginia at #8 Duke – 9:00 PM EST on ESPN HD (****)

  • Virginia has only lost one time this season and is looking for its 13th consecutive win. Playing at Duke will be UVA’s toughest test of the season. The Cavaliers play at a sloth’s pace. While their offense is nothing more than average, their defense has been stellar. They are holding teams to 27% from beyond the arc and are in the top 10 in the country in defensive rebounding. Although offense is not the Cavaliers’ strong suit, 6’8″ forward Mike Scott is one of the most effective scorers and rebounders in the country. Considering how slowly Virginia plays, Scott should be considered one of the top big men in the country. Keep a close eye on how he matches up with Duke’s Mason Plumlee. It should be a great battle between two future NBA forwards.
  • Duke still possesses one of the top offenses in the country. The Blue Devils shoot an outstanding 41.7% from downtown. Much like Virginia, Duke knows how to get to the line. The free throw battle in this game will be extremely important. In both of Duke’s losses, two key statistics emerged. They did not get to the line and their opponent shot the lights out. On the season, the Dukies have a free throw rate of 51.5%, which is good for third in the nation. In losses to Ohio State and Temple, Duke had a free throw rate of 25% and 27%, respectively. Virginia does not put teams on the line, so it will be interesting to see how the free throw situation plays out.
  • While it appears that this game will come down to Duke’s offense versus Virginia’s defense, the UVA offense actually may hold the key to the win. In Duke’s two losses, OSU and Temple both had an eFG of over 60%. Look to see if Virginia’s Sammy Zeglinski can hit his threes. Zeglinski is the Cavaliers’ top three-point shooter, hitting 31-of-74 attempts (41.9%). Also, keep an eye on Duke’s offensive rebounding. The Cavaliers’ defense will contest Duke’s three-point shots and the Blue Devils are a poor offensive rebounding team. If Mike Krzyzewski’s squad goes one-and-done too many times, the Cavaliers could pull the upset at Cameron Indoor. However, it may be too much to expect for the Virginia offense to win in such a tough environment.

#16 Gonzaga at #25 St. Mary’s – 11:00 PM EST on ESPNU HD (****)

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