Friday, February 6, 2009

Duke Blue Devils vs Miami Hurricanes Prediction

Miami Hurricanes at Duke Blue Devils
Saturday 1:30PM
TV: Raycom

Both Miami and Duke are coming off 20 point margins this week. But it is the Hurricanes who have the win in their pocket over Wake Forest while Duke is coming off a thrashing at the hands of Clemson on Wednesday night. That loss was Duke's worst since the drubbing at the hands of Larry Johnson and UNLV in the 1990 title game.

Records:

Duke: 19-3, 6-2, 13-0 (home), RPI #2
Miami: 15-7, 4-5, 3-3 (away), RPI #45

Series:

Duke has won 6 of the last 7 in the series dating back to 2005
Duke is undefeated all time vs Miami at Cameron Indoor Stadium

Players to Watch:

Duke - F Kyle Singler (15.7ppg), G Gerald Henderson (15.0 ppg), G Jon Scheyer (12.6 ppg)
Miami - G Jack McClinton (19 ppg), F Dwayne Collins (11.7 ppg), G James Dews (8 ppg)

What Duke must do to win...

1. Do Better on the Boards
The Blue Devils have to do a better job on the boards than they did vs Clemson when Duke allowed 18 offensive rebounds.

2. Find Some Offense In The Post
Duke's best low post scorer, Kyle Singler, had just 8 points against Clemson with just eight shots total. Center Brian Zoubek had just 2 points. The Blue Devils need to have another avenue for points when their outside shooting is off.

3. Gerald Henderson Steps Up
I think Gerald Henderson, the emotional leader of the team, needs to have a good game by improving on his 5-13 outing Wednesday. Also, the junior needs to lock up on Miami's best player, McClinton, on the defensive side of the ball.


What Miami must do to win...

1. Match Duke's Intensity on Defense

The Hurricanes have been playing very good defense this year allowing only 40 percent shooting from the field. Miami was even better than that on Wednesday allowing just 31 percent from Wake Forest. However, Miami needs to match Duke's intensity which will be very high at home after receiving a tongue lashing from Coach K this week.

2. Jack McClinton Has A Big Game
The senior is Miami's main source of offense. You need a star player to quiet the Cameron Crazies early and often to have a chance as an underdog.

3. Make Their Free Throws
Miami ranks at the bottom of the ACC in FT percentage in conference games but is third in attempts. The Canes cannot give up free opportunities to score especially considering Duke's opponents have shot the least number of FT in conference games.


Prediction
With their blowout loss on Wednesday, Duke dropped a notch in my book down from elite level status. However, I think the home crowd and motivation to bounce back will be enough to put Duke over the edge. The Blue Devils rely on their defense in this one to put away Miami late.

Duke wins by 10-15 points

Season: 12-13 SU through 2/6

Other ACC Games This Weekend:
North Carolina over Virginia

With a win, UNC will have reeled off seven straight wins going into next week's game at Duke

Clemson over FSU
I think this game will be very close with the Tigers struggling a little from the Duke win hangover

Virginia Tech over NC State
The Hokies have struggled a little since their big win over Wake but they should take this one at home

Wake Forest over Boston College
The Demon Deacons are just 1-3 vs unranked ACC foes so I expect this one to be close

Georgia Tech vs Maryland Preview to come...



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