Both the Blue Devils and Cardinals are coming off of pretty big wins at the Battle 4 Atlantis. In the tournament, Duke just got finished beating VCU, which is a game that most people have said Duke has been waiting for since 2007, when the Rams upset Duke in the NCAA tournament. Revenge is oh-so-very-sweet when your name is Mike Krzyzewski.
As for Louisville, it just beat a very good Missouri team 84-61. This was a Tigers team that was ranked pretty high and was expected to challenge the Cardinals, but Louisville clearly had different plans.
Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry come into this game on absolute fire to start the season. Plumlee is averaging 20.4 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game, while Curry is putting up 17.6 points per game.
Louisville’s Russ Smith enters the game averaging 19.6 points per game. After Smith, the Cardinals do not have a single player averaging in double-digits in points, but luckily this team is known for its defense.
This matchup will set the tone for the season. Louisville made it all of the way to the Final Four last season, while Duke got upset in the very first round as a No. 2 seed. Both of these teams have Final Four teams this year. With very different playing styles, it will be interesting to see if Louisville’s defense can shutdown Plumlee and Curry, which hasn’t been done all year.
Duke enters this game at 5-0, with its biggest victory of the season coming against Kentucky. Louisville is also 5-0, coming up with a huge victory over Missouri. Mike Krzyzewski vs. Rick Pitino. This matchup is going to be one for the ages, at least on paper. Whoever comes up on top in this one will win the Battle 4 Atlantis and will have serious bragging rights for the rest of the season.
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