Capsule: No 2 ACC teams are hotter than Duke, Virginia

Laura Keeley previews the Duke vs. Virginia showdown

News & Observer sports writer Laura Keeley breaks down the game between Duke and Virginia, two of the hottest teams in the ACC.
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News & Observer sports writer Laura Keeley breaks down the game between Duke and Virginia, two of the hottest teams in the ACC.

No. 7 Virginia at Duke

When: 4:30 p.m.

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham

TV/Radio: ESPN, 96.5-WFLB, 620-WDNC

Projected starting lineups

Duke (18-6, 7-4 ACC)

G Derryck Thornton 8.3 ppg, 2.7 apg

G Matt Jones 11.6 ppg, 2.7 apg

G Grayson Allen 20.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg

G/F Brandon Ingram 16.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg

C Marshall Plumlee 8.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg

No. 7 Virginia (20-4, 9-3 ACC)

G London Perrantes 11.1 ppg, 4.3 apg

G Malcolm Brogdon 17.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G Devon Hall 4.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg

F Anthony Gill 14.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg

F Isaiah Wilkins 4.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg


▪ This might be the most intriguing ACC matchup to date, as Duke, which has won four of its past five, hosts a Virginia team that’s on a seven-game win streak. No teams are hotter in the league.

▪ After struggling to a 2-3 conference start, the Cavaliers have rediscovered their defensive identity that makes them so formidable. The pack-line defense makes driving tough, and the Cavaliers have done a much better job closing out on 3-point shooters of late. They are ranked 11th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to statistician Ken Pomeroy.

▪ The Cavaliers also rank 10th nationally in adjusted offensive efficincy and are led by ACC Player of the Year candidate Malcolm Brogdon. In Virginia’s last game, a 67-49 win over Virginia Tech (after losing to the Hokies on the road earlier in league play), the Cavaliers recorded assists on 18 of its 24 baskets.

▪ In its past four games (at Louisville, Boston College, at Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech), Virginia has just trailed for 79 seconds out of 160 minutes, according to (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press columnist David Teel.

▪ Now in his seventh season at Virginia, Tony Bennett has a .696 winning percentage and has won at every away venue except Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Cavaliers haven’t won at Duke since Pete Gaudet was on the sideline for a double-overtime 91-88 loss on Jan. 14, 1995. The last time a Virginia team beat Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski at home was on Jan. 17, 1993 (77-69).

▪  Krzyzewski gave the latest Amile Jefferson update after Monday’s win against Louisville. He said to not read into Jefferson wearing a walking boot again – he will do that whenever he’s not on the court to ease stress on his right foot – and that while he is healing well, he is in pain. Krzyzewski said. “What happens then if you compensate for that,” Krzyzewski said, “something else goes. I’m sorry I can’t give you a better update than that. So, there is no time frame.”

Laura Keeley