MIAMI HURRICANES (23-4)
at DUKE BLUE DEVILS (24-4)
Cameron Indoor Stadium Ė Durham, NC
Tip-off: Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET
Line: Duke -7, Total: 135.5
Coming off its fourth road loss of the season, No. 3 Duke will look to stay undefeated at home as it hosts No. 5 Miami on Saturday night.
The Hurricanes whopped then-No. 1 Duke earlier in the season, taking down the Blue Devils 90-63 in Coral Gables on Jan. 23. But the Blue Devils are different at home where they are 14-0 SU, beating opponents by an average of 20.0 PPG. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have lost two straight ATS on the road, though they still own an impressive 6-3-2 ATS mark away from home. Overall, Miami is 6-1-2 ATS (83%) in its past nine meetings in this series, but the Blue Devils are 11-3 SU since Miami joined the ACC. Duke has the X-factor in this one though, making the Hurricanes prepare for the potential return of PF Ryan Kelly, who dressed but did not play in the teamís 73-68 loss to Virginia on Thursday. This game will also be much more meaningful to the Blue Devils, who had the court stormed on them by Miami fans in Coral Gables. When NC State beat Duke at home earlier in the season and then rushed the court, the Blue Devils turned around to trounce them by 13 at home. The Blue Devils are a perfect 3-0 (SU and ATS) after a loss this season, winning these three games by a hefty 22.0 PPG margin. However, Miami has been one of the best wagers in all of college basketball at 16-6-2 ATS overall (73%) including 9-4-2 ATS (69%) in conference play.
Can Miami keep the score close when it visits Durham on Saturday? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Gary is 4-1 ATS in his past three days to improve to 55% ATS (91-76-4) for college basketball Best Bets this season. StatFox Dave is 4-1 ATS since Thursday, and is now 52% ATS (150-140-5) for the season.
Durand Scott (13.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG) led Miami with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the first meeting between these two teams, adding six rebounds and four assists. Six-foot-11 PF Kenny Kadji (13.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG) dropped 22 in that game, doing so on 9-for-11 shooting. He is also a threat from deep, hitting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc in that game, and 37.9% threes for the season. Heís joined in the post by PF Julian Gamble (6.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG) and C Reggie Johnson (8.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG), who led the Hurricanes to an overtime upset of Duke at Cameron last season. Johnson dominated the post in that contest, hitting 11-of-17 shots for 27 points and 12 rebounds. And don't forget Miamiís great point guard and leading scorer Shane Larkin (13.4 PPG, 4.3 APG), who not only burned Duke for 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but is coming off a 22-point, 6-assist effort against Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
Duke had four players score in double-figures in its loss to Miami earlier in the season, but there was no bigger disappointment in that game than SG Seth Curry (17.3 PPG), who went scoreless on 0-for-10 shooting. Since then, he has scored double-digit points in every game, and heís coming off a 28-point performance in the teamís loss to Virginia. The Blue Devils will need a better performance from PF Mason Plumlee (17.3 PPG, 10.5 RPG) though, who scored just 10 points on 2-of-5 shooting in the loss to the Cavaliers, grabbing only seven rebounds as Duke was outrebounded 33-21. PG Quinn Cook (12.4 PPG, 5.4 APG) was Dukeís other star against Virginia, scoring 22 points. But his assist totals have been low lately with just 2.0 APG over his past three contests. SG Rasheed Sulaimon (12.1 PPG) struggled against the Cavs with just four points, snapping a streak of four games averaging 18.3 PPG. The good news is that PF Ryan Kelly (13.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG) may return for this game after being out since leaving midway through Dukeís Jan. 8 win against Clemson with a foot injury. Kelly had eight points (3-of-10 FG), seven rebounds and two blocks in last season's home loss to the Hurricanes.