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Next Up - Louisville

As Duke gets a quick rematch with the Cardinals

ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 09: Jay Heath #5 of the Boston College Eagles attempts a lay up against DJ Steward #2 and Henry Coleman III #34 of the Duke Blue Devils during the second half of their first round game in the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 09, 2021 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Duke gets a quick rematch with Louisville after losing to the Cardinals in overtime on February 27th, less than two weeks ago.

As you probably remember, that game went into overtime.

  • Date: 3/10
  • Time: 6:30
  • Venue: Greensboro Coliseum
  • Video: ACCN

Duke fell behind 40-28 before coming back to take the lead but it was never really the kind of game where the Devils seemed secure.

There is one big change for the Cardinals: Malik Williams is out for the season. He’s had an injury-plagued season but he’s still a reliable 6-11 senior.

They should be used to playing without him by now though.

Matthew Hurt had a monster game, hitting 37 but the only other guy in double figures was Wendell Moore with 13.

That game should still be fresh though and Duke has one game under its belt and didn’t have to work as hard as say Miami did where all starters logged heavy minutes. Duke shouldn’t suffer from tired legs.

And remember this too: other than Carlik Jones, the Cards, like Duke, are a very young team in their first tournament game.

We think Duke has a solid chance to win this game but we’ll make this prediction: don’t expect the Blue Devils to hit 15-32 from deep again. In Durham, Duke hit 4-21 to Louisville’s 4-12.

Also consider this: Louisville held Duke’s Williams to 4-8 - with Malik Williams defending.

Against Syracuse, Mark Williams had 18, against Georgia Tech 20, against UNC 18 and 13 against BC in 24 minutes.

In those games, he’s shot 31-37 which works out to 83.7 percent.

He’s become a major offensive force, in other words and it’s not just that he’s getting alley-oops and dunks. He’s proven that he can step out to score as well and shown that he’s an unusually intelligent player.

All that said, while Duke got solid offense from the backcourt against Boston College, it’ll need to perform well against Louisville as well: in Durham, DJ Steward, Jordan Goldwire and Jeremy Roach combined to score 11 points and shoot 3-21.

They’ll need to do better than that in Greensboro and they’ll certainly need to control Jones, who more than doubled Duke’s guards output by himself with 25 points.