The first meeting between Duke and Virginia was an instant classic, and round two should be another terrific game on Saturday. Duke was able to come away with a 72-70 win in the first meeting of the season, but they won’t have the Cameron Crazies to help them in this game. Virginia and Duke are tied with North Carolina for the top spot in the ACC with an 8-1 conference record.
Virginia has won four straight games since suffering their first and only loss of the season to Duke. The Cavaliers come into this game as the third-ranked team in the country with an overall record of 20-1. Duke has won six straight games after a stunning loss to Syracuse earlier this season. The Blue Devils are ranked number 2 in the country and have a record of 20-2. Virginia is -2.5 over Duke in this game.
Virginia Defense Can Slow Duke Down
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett is a defensive wizard, and his Cavaliers team is the best defense in the country. The Cavaliers are allowing just under 53 points per game this season, and they have been sharp in recent ACC games. Virginia’s doesn’t mind playing games that wind up in the 50’s, and they will find a way to slow down the explosive Duke offense in this game.
The Cavaliers average just 72.9 points per game, but they have one of the most efficient offenses in college basketball. Virginia is led by a trio of veteran guards in De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome, and those three guys have combined to score more than 42 points per game. The Cavaliers won’t blow you away with their athleticism, but they have plenty of talent to play with Duke.
Freshmen Facing Toughest Test Yet
There has been plenty of hype surrounding the Duke freshmen this season, but this will be their biggest test of the season. Winning on the road in the ACC is never easy, but things are even tougher at Virginia. Duke will try to get the tempo and pace of this game in their favor as they are averaging more than 87 points per game this season. The Blue Devils were able to sneak by Virginia once, and a win in this game could wrap up the conference.
RJ Barrett continues to lead Duke with 23 points per game, but teammate Zion Williamson is right behind him. Williamson has been the best player in the ACC this season and is averaging 22 points and over 9 rebounds per game. College basketball hasn’t seen a pair of freshman teammates in a long time, and they are good enough to carry Duke to the title.
Cavaliers Get Revenge on Blue Devils
The Duke freshman class is one of the best in recent memory, but winning on the road isn’t easy for anyone. Virginia and Duke play completely different styles, but both are legitimate contenders to win the National Championship. I think that Duke is the better team, but Virginia will get some revenge on the Blue Devils in this game. Take Virginia -2.5 over Duke on Saturday night.