This Saturday is a big day for Duke basketball.
It has been a tough year for Duke men’s basketball, for a lot of reasons. The corona virus, the lack of pre-season workouts, scrimmages and games, the inability to find an identity have all contributed to Duke’s shortfalls. Not to toot my own horn here (but this is my blog here so I can do what I want) since I was born in 1997 Duke has made the tournament every. single. year. They have never lost more than 24 games in a season and have won the national championship three times. I really am spoiled. What I have begun to realize as I mature into a smart, cunning, handsome, funny, and witty young man, is that I really should not be upset about this years Duke team. I could’ve had it much worse and had been a fan of NC State or Wake Forest. Jalen Johnson’s exit was a blessing in disguise in my opinion and I have been saying this since our early losses to Michigan State and Illinois. Is upsetting to see Duke may miss the tournament, but I am not gonna be a baby about it. Will it suck, yes, but its not worth letting it ruin my love for March Madness. Now onto the biggest game of the year for the Devils……
In recent years I have actually preferred to watch this game over any other Duke ACC conference game, just because UVA has gotten to be so god damn good at basketball. Recently Duke has become a very offensive oriented team, while UVA has prided themselves on their hard-nose defense. great offense vs. great defense. The Duke/UVA games in the past 7-8 years have been spectacular and I am honestly excited for this game on Saturday in Durham. Duke is coming off a two game win steak (which isn’t saying much but due to the circumstances it does) and UVA just recently got shit-pumped by FSU in Tallahassee. UVA needs to come out and stomp Duke to prove that they are in-fact still the best team in the ACC and not lose two straight games. Duke needs to win this game to build their resume if they still want a chance of making the tournament. There is always so much hype around this game, but this year not so much. I still think that it’ll be the best game on tv tomorrow, unless Duke gets blown-out.
What UVA needs to do: SCORE THE BALL. UVA needs more offense, this has been the problem since Tony Bennett became had coach (besides the championship year). This is an obvious answer and I do not think they will have a problem scoring against Duke, unless Duke finds good matchups in man and their zone defense moves well.
What Duke needs to do: Play good man/zone defense and share the basketball. Duke’s recent success has come from moving the ball and not being selfish. Unlike past years the team doesn’t have THAT GUY that can score at will like Zion or RJ. The team needs to slow down the tempo, swing the ball, hit the open man and hit open shots. UVA has mastered the skill of slowing the tempo and making teams play slow ball. Duke needs to either beat UVA in transition, or beat them at their own game.
Tip-off @ 8pm ET on ESPN.
MY PICKS (bias obviously)
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