One of the most anticipated games on a Tuesday night this year features two teams fighting to give the NCAA Selection committee a solid resume for their bid into the Big Dance. Duke and Georgia Tech both need this pivotal matchup more than any win this season.
Duke, who won the first matchup earlier this season, looks to complete the season sweep. Tech, the winner of four straight, host Duke on Senior night after suffering a heart-breaking loss Saturday against a depleted Louisville team still regrouping from Covid-19 tracing within the men’s basketball program.
The Yellow Jackets have been dominant at home this season, holding a 7-1 record on their home court. Georgia Tech is led by Brooklyn native and senior guard Jose Alvarado, who will be licking his chops after torching the Blue-Devils for 26, 5 assists, 4 rebounds down in Cameron during the first matchup. He will look to add on to that performance in his last home game. Containing combo-guards has been a flaw for the young Duke backcourt. In the Blue Devils’ last two losses, (Notre Dame, Louisville) their combined backcourt gave up over 100 points combined.
Raleigh native Moses Wright, who made headlines and possibly gave Coach K some bulletin board material, told the Atlanta Journal:
“We definitely hung our heads on the Duke loss because we felt like-well, we don’t feel like- we know that we’re a better team compared to Duke. So not going to sugarcoat that one. We’re coming in Duke, senior night, going to get that dub. We owe them big time.”
What to Watch For
Does Duke continue to run its offense through Matthew Hurt? In the loss to Louisville, Hurt dropped 37 points before fouling out, but in the final possessions of the second half Hurt wasn’t the focal point. There was no answer or defense for Matthew. Mark Williams was not in the game on the crucial free-throw miss by Carlik Jones, that ultimately would have given Duke a final possession with about 13 seconds left.
As mentioned before, this game will be determined by the back-court. With one game left in the season and both teams’ tourney hopes on the brink, we have to stop making excuses for the freshman. It’s time to put on your big boy pants and rise to the occasion. In keys losses for Duke this season (UNC, Louisville, Notre Dame, Illinois) the opposing teams’ guards have treated the back-court of Duke like your ordinary D-II early season scrimmages.
This game will come down to someone putting the clamps on a backcourt that scored 45 in their first matchup, plain and simple.
How to Watch
TV: ACCN (Rece Davis, Jon Chrispin)
Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Blue Devil Sports (David Shumate,John Roth)