Duke’s first game in the 2013 ACC Tournament is on Friday night, March 15th. They will be taking on the winner of the 7/10 game, which features Maryland and Wake Forest.
During the regular season Duke was 2-0 vs. Wake Forest but the games couldn’t have been more different. Duke dominated the first game at home, winning 80-62, while having to go down to the wire on the road in the rematch to win 75-70. There were times in the second game that it looked as though Wake would hand the Devils their first loss of the season. Duke did play that game without Ryan Kelly, who put up 22 in his only game against Wake. The likelihood that Wake defeats Maryland is slim as the Terps beat the Demon Deacons 86-60 and 67-57.
Duke split the regular season matchups against Maryland, as they won 84-64 at home and lost 83-81 on the road. Both games they played were without Ryan Kelly. Some could argue the second game was also played without Mason Plumlee, as he had one of his worst games of the season and spent a large portion of the game on the bench. Maryland heading into the tournament is coming off back-to-back losses versus UNC and Virginia, in which they blew a 17 point lead against the Cavaliers.
I look for Maryland to come out on top against Wake Forest. The game probably will be closer to their second matchup, but the Terps should prove to be too much. I don’t believe, however, that Maryland will beat Duke. The Devils will be looking for revenge and will have Ryan Kelly in the lineup. The game won’t be much a blow out, but I do see Duke pulling out a 10 point win and moving on to the semi-finals.
I think in the semi-finals they will square off for a third time against UNC. If they beat UNC (which I believe they will), it will be the 2,000th win in Duke history. How amazing would that feat truly be? 2,000 wins is amazing enough, but to do it against your rival in the ACC Tournament? The only way it could be better would if it was for the ACC Championship. I expect Duke to face off against Miami on Sunday and win their 20th – yes, 20th – ACC Championship. This will secure them the #1 seed in the East region and possibly the overall #1 seed.
Chris Summerville is originally from Indian Trail, NC and currently resides in Monroe, NC. He has been a lifetime Duke fan and knows exactly what he was doing when Christian Laettner crushed the hopes and dreams of Kentucky fans (and Aminu Timberlake’s intestines). Chris graduated from UNC Asheville in 2003 with a degree in Multimedia Arts & Sciences. By day he is Creative Director for one of the major billiard companies in the US. By night he prowls the interwebs as the Duke of Hoops. Chris can often be found on Twitter arguing with UNC fans.