After Duke got by Syracuse and Miami clipped Boston College in the last possible second, the Blue Devils get a rematch with the Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament Semifinals Friday night.
You’ll recall Miami got Duke in Cameron 76-74 on January 8th. After Wendell Moore and then Trevor Keels missed threes in the last two seconds, Kameron McGusty said “We’re the real deal. And I think everybody saw that tonight.”
This was not long after the team contracted Covid-19 en masse. The game against Notre Dame scheduled for January 1st had been postponed.
Miami finished fourth in the ACC and is now 23-9 overall so clearly they’re a good team. But we still haven’t seen a serious matchup of these two teams.
Ironically, Duke played Syracuse Thursday with a potential team-wide illness as well: coach Mike Krzyzewski reported that his team has suffered food poisoning. He, assistant Chris Carrawell and AJ Griffin, at least, were vomiting prior to the game.
So it’s entirely possible that we won’t see Duke at full strength against Miami again.
But if they are, it should be a better game for the Blue Devils.
In the first game, Duke had 17 turnovers, six by Wendell Moore. And while Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams combined to shoot 12-18, the perimeter starters hit 10-31.
Duke also really had trouble with energy, which is understandable since basically everyone had been sick not too long before the game.
You may have forgotten this but Charlie Moore had seven steals in that game.
There are just a lot of things we’re curious to see in this game that may be different - assuming that Duke is fully healthy.
None of that takes away from what Miami has done since.
This is a solid team and it took a serious effort Thursday to take out Boston College, a team that, if it’s talent matched it’s heart, would be an NCAA team.
Moore - there he is again - hit Jordan Miller for a layup in overtime as the light flashed on to finally take out the Eagles.
So now we’re down to four - Duke, Miami, Virginia Tech and UNC - and we’ll see how things look after Friday night’s results. Draft Kings has Duke favored by nine.