GOTN PREVIEW: Duke @ Virginia
We have a quite a matchup in college basketball tonight. The per-usual highly ranked Duke Blue Devils (17-3, 4-3 ACC) are coming to the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA for a clash of college basketball titans. The University of Virginia Cavaliers have built on their solid team from last year to boast an undefeated record (19-0, 7-0 ACC) so far this year. Projected #1 draft prospect Jahlil Okafor, who has been a menace at the rim and in the post (18.7 PPG, 9.4 Rb), will look to end Virginia’s unbeaten run.
Virginia has excelled this year thanks to Junior guard Justin Anderson (13.9 PPG, 51% 3pt) and an absolutely stifling defense. The Cavs defense has given up fewer than 30 points in a game three times! Through 19 games they have surrendered a total of 300 field goals (#1) and allowed only .341 FG% (#2). UVA has only allowed 260 free throws attempted against them (#3). Along with an offense that does its job and doesn’t turn the ball over, it’s a recipe for a 19-0 season. The defense will face a tough test in the Blue Devils tonight and up next are the UNC Tarheels (13) away and the Louisville Cardinals (10) at home as Virginia reaches a brutal stretch in ACC play. If they make it through this stretch undefeated, they’ll be considered to be the best team in the country outside of the near NBA caliber Kentucky.
Coach K’s team has been mostly elite this year, however the ACC so far has been a struggle. Duke sits at 4-3 having lost to NC State, Miami, and Notre Dame since January 11th. It will be interesting to see who will take Sulaimon’s minutes as he was dismissed from the team recently. Will Virginia be able to stop Okafor and the talented wing Justise Winslow? Tune in to find out.
UVA – 70 DUKE – 66
Sources: sports-reference.com, ESPN.com