Duke rallied late, then survived a tough overtime to beat their arch rivals, the North Carolina Tar Heels, 92-90 on Wednesday night in Durham. Now, Duke must turn its attention to Clemson for Saturday’s contest.
The Blue Devils are 23-3 overall and 10-3 in the ACC. Duke remains in the mix for the ACC title, although they are two games behind the league-leading Virginia Cavaliers at this points.
Freshman big man Jahlil Okafor leads Duke in scoring (17.9 points per game) and rebounding (9.4 rebounds per game). Quinn Cook averages 15.1 points per contest, while Tyus Jones (11.7 ppg) and Justise Winslow (11.5 ppg) are also double-figure scorers.
Clemson enters Saturday’s contest at 15-11 overall and 7-7 in the ACC. The Tigers have lost three of their last four after winning four straight.
The Tigers have just one player averaging in double figures. Sophomore forward Jaron Blossomgame averages 12.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Tigers. Donte Grantham averages 9.1 points per outing.
Clemson actually did beat a ranked team earlier this season, topping the Arkansas Razorbacks on December 7. However, they have had big struggles since then. Heading into Durham to face a hot Duke team is not exactly the remedy that head coach Brad Brownell is looking for at this point.
Duke’s superior talent and home court advantage should turn this one into a blowout. Clemson’s only hope is that Duke has a hangover from Wednesday’s tough win. Don’t count on that.
Final score prediction: Duke 79, Clemson 59