Next up for Duke is Miami, and while the Hurricanes are in eighth place, they have played a series of very close games lately and won the last three by total of five points.Â Between that and the fact that they gave Duke a tough game in Cameron and also last year in Greensboro, they certainly won't be scared of the Devils when they're playing at home.
In Durham, Reggie Johnson was essentially a battering ram, and he definitely battered Duke inside,Â shooting 9-10 for 22 points and also grabbing nine rebounds -- in just 22 minutes.
His big problem continues to be fouls, which have really limited his minutes.
His primary sidekicks are guards Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant, either of whom is capable of taking over a game, but especially Scott.
Miami has some pretty underappreciated midsized talent in DeQuan Jones, Garrius Adams and Erik Swoope.Â We didn't put Adrian Thomas in this group because he's been around long enough to be appreciated, or at least for people to understand that he's dangerous.
And as we said last time, Julian Gamble is a native of Durham, which perhaps gives him a special motivation.
Look, at this point there are no secrets between these teams and Miami knows full well they can play with Duke.
But there's another factor to consider: Miami, after looking like they might collapse, has come on pretty nicely lately. Not nice enough to make the tournament however -- at least not yet.
Like a few teams left on the schedule,Â Miami needsÂ a signature winÂ and Duke is their best bet.
It's possible, if not necessarily likely, that Miami could win the rest of their games.Â Consider: their next one is at Greensboro, then Clemson at home, BC and Florida State on the road, Maryland back at home, before finishing up at Georgia Tech.
The margin of error is thin, but Miami does have some real talent and potential. And it's not like tight games are anything new to them.
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