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Tuesday, February 12 9:00 P.M. KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky
The ACC has turned into a five-team race, and two of those teams will face off in this one. Duke can put a strangle hold on the conference with a win in Louisville. Duke took home an impressive 81-71 win on the road against No. 3 Virginia. Louisville will be playing their fourth ranked opponent in a row. They have lost two of the previous three, most recently 80-75 to Florida State.
Duke Shoots the Lights Out in Virginia
No. 2 Duke and No.3 Virginia was slated as the game of the weekend. The first meeting between these two teams was a 73-71 win for Duke in Cameron Indoor. In this one, there was not as much excitement. Duke scored the first eight points of the game, and it could have been called right there. Virginia was not able to get within four points in the game because of one thing — the three-point line. Duke turned the ball over 15 times against this strong Cavaliers’ defense. That was the only blemish on the beautiful face that was the Duke offense. The Blue Devils finished 13-21 from three. Yes, you read that right. From the opening tip, Duke made sure that they would leave that gym with no power. R.J. Barrett hit his first five three-point attempts within the first seven minutes of the game. He and Cam Reddish combined to go 11-18 from beyond the arc. Barrett finished with 26 points while Reddish scored 17. Zion Williamson had his average game with 18 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks.
Big facts from last night.
🔵 NCAA-best 6th win over Top-15 team this season.
🔵 Hit 13-of-21 (.619) from deep. Best % since 2015.
🔵 3-0 at UVA over last 5 years. Rest of NCAA is 4-69.
🔵 Coach K's 16th road W over a Top-5 team (most all-time). pic.twitter.com/nzT7HFi426
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) February 10, 2019
Duke won this game from the three-point line. They rank 295th in the nation shooting 32% from beyond the arc. If the Blue Devils knock down three’s consistently, they are unbeatable. Villanova won every tournament game last season by double-digits. If Duke can stay hot from three, they will do that and then some. The four freshmen finished with 74 points in the win over Virginia. Tre Jones had 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists. The Blue Devils do not have depth, that is obvious. They played just two men off the bench in Virginia. Their freshman are good enough to carry them, but historically freshmen have not been able to get the job done in the postseason. It is yet to be seen if this group is different, but it certainly seems that way.
Louisville Suffers Crushing Loss in OT
Louisville is in the midst of a murderer’s row stretch. Their most recent game was on the road against Florida State. The Cardinals were hot early. They jumped out to a 14-5 lead and rode that into halftime where they led by six. In the second half, they led for about 17 minutes. Louisville held a seven-point lead with five minutes to play. Florida State was able to battle back and take a two-point lead with under a minute left. Louisville got to the free throw line and tied the game. In overtime, Florida State scored nine of the first 11 points in overtime. They were able to steal a win in this one. Christen Cunningham finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Louisville got just 15 points out of their bench. Duke can run. The Cardinals will struggle to keep up in this game if they do not have depth.
⚫️ #BlackoutTheYum ⚫️
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) February 11, 2019
The Cardinals have had a strong season. They are averaging 78.6 points per game overall and in conference. That is good for third in the ACC. They have a point differential of 10. The Cardinals are ranked 16th nationally and will be at least a five seed in the NCAA Tournament. Rick Pitino is gone, and the Chris Mack era is in full effect. Cardinal nation knows that they are in good hands. They will be home in this one, but Duke is no joke. This is their only meeting of the season with the Blue Devils. While a loss does not hurt them much, Louisville can really build their case as one of the top teams in the conference with a win.
- Cardinals are 1-4-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
- Under is 23-9-2 in Cardinals last 34 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- Under is 33-16-2 in Cardinals last 51 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600
- Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast
- Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Blue Devils are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS win
- Under is 6-0 in Blue Devils last 6 Tuesday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is an intriguing spot to take a chance on Louisville. Duke is coming off a big win, and will be playing their second straight on the road. But in this one, talent will take over. Duke can score from anywhere on the floor. Louisville will have a hard time guarding all of these dynamic freshman who are immensely confident. Duke has covered five of the last eight games against Louisville while winning those five outright. Duke is 15-8 ATS this season, and undefeated on the road. They will come in as a slight favorite, and expect them to win a close one.
Full-Game Total Pick
Duke numbers are always inflated. They are the fourth highest scoring team in the nation at 86.4 points per game. Surprisingly, the under is 15-6-2 in their games. Four of the last six meetings between these two teams have been under. For Duke, five of their last six games have been under while four of the last seven for Louisville have been under. The bottom line in this one is that Duke will not duplicate their performance from three against Virginia, it is not possible. They will be shooting at a high rate coming off that game, but the law of averages will catch up. Expect this to be a great game with some strong defense.