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Next Up - Maine Black Bears

Time: 5:30 || Venue: Cameron Indoor Stadium || Video: ESPN2

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NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Duke
Nov 29, 2016; Durham, NC, USA; Michigan State Spartans forward Nick Ward (44) drives against Duke Blue Devils forward Amile Jefferson (21) and Duke Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen (3) in the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

When Duke schedules a team like Maine, it’s not always easy to write about. There’s no Miles Bridges or Frank Mason III, no known commodities.

Of course, that was the case for Vermont not too long ago and watching to see if they could get a shot off to upset Duke in Cameron.

Just because you can’t find out much about a team doesn’t mean they're not dangerous.

So you have to look at what you can find.

Maine plays in the American East, Vermont’s conference, coincidentally. Maine is 2-5 so far. The Black Bears lost to Virginia Tech by 13, Boston University by 24 and Northeastern by eight.

The wins are over Longwood and Maine-Presque Island.

Maine last played Central Connecticut, losing by 19, and thus may become the first team to lose back-to-back games to Blue Devils since UCLA in the 1960s (UCLA scheduled two games against Duke in 1966 - we think - and lost both. Then Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) showed up and that was the end of beating UCLA for a good while.

There is probably some year where Duke played someone in the ACC regular season finale and then played them again in the ACC Tournament but still. It’s kind of cool to see back-to-back Blue Devils.

As far as experience goes, Maine has a lot. There are three seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen.

There’s not a lot of size - Maine’s tallest guy is 6-8 and he gets about 15 minutes a game. Five guys are 6-0 or under; nine guys are 6-2 or shorter.

Recruiting is certainly not limited to New England or even Canada: there are two guys from Ontario, two guys from Serbia, one from England, one from Turkey and even a Los Angelean.

Maine does use a lot of players - 12 guys get double-figure minutes.

One of the more intriguing things about Maine is the coach.

Bob Walsh is a first-year guy who has had a lot of success in D-II and D-III. He was also a Providence assistant so he knows the region very well.

He has the potential to be really good.

You never want to underestimate an opponent but Maine is going to be a real long shot in Cameron.

Then again, so was Vermont.

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