Tale of the Tape: Virginia vs. Duke

The anticipation continues to build as we are now just hours away from the 6 p.m. tipoff between No. 3 Virginia and No. 2 Duke inside John Paul Jones Arena. The ESPN GameDay crew is on hand and the stage is set for a thrilling regular-season rematch between two of college basketball’s top teams.

The Cavaliers (20-1, 8-1 ACC) have had all week off — including a couple of much-needed rest days — to prepare for Round 2 of the heavyweight showdown.

The ‘Hoos and Devils sit in a three-way tie with eighth-ranked North Carolina atop the ACC standings heading into the weekend, and at game’s end Saturday, Virginia will have less than 48 hours before tipping off at the Dean Dome Monday night at 7. The Tar Heels (18-4, 8-1) will also have a relatively quick turnaround, as they host last-place Miami Saturday at Noon.

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UVA will not only be hungry for revenge for the 72-70 loss in Durham three weeks ago, but will also try to stay perfect at JPJ on the season (11-0) and extend the current home winning streak to 14 games.

Although they’ve only played four true road games, the Blue Devils (20-2, 8-1) have easily won all four — by a nation-leading average scoring margin of 15.1 — against Wake Forest, then-No. 13 Florida State, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Those four teams have a combined conference winning percentage of .282 (11-28).

The Blue Devils, who have taken the last two meetings at JPJ, reached the 20-win plateau after routing Boston College by 25 Tuesday night after trailing 30-28 at the half. Duke shot 63 percent in the second half and outscored the Eagles 52-25 over the final 20 minutes.

The freshman trio of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish combined for all but 21 of Duke’s points.

Meanwhile another freshman, Tre Jones, is healthy and back at point guard for the Blue Devils, and has held both Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s and Ky Bowman of BC — who both average just over 20 points a game — to just 11 in the last two contests, all while bringing stability to Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s high-powered offense.

Kyle Guy is due for a quality outing after shooting just 7 for 26 from the field and 3 for 13 from downtown over the last two games. De’Andre Hunter has scored double figures in eight straight, and is coming off a 14-point effort in the win against Miami.

For more, tune into The Jerry Ratcliffe Show from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN Radio WVAX Charlottesville (1450 AM/102.9 FM), as Hootie talks to Guy, award-winning author John Grisham and Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Vitale.

Hoops Tale of the Tape Duke Virginia


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