Pence's Quick Thoughts
Duke should be able to defeat Cornell on Wednesday night, so the actual game shouldn't be in question. I'll be watching Duke's bench minutes, currently ranked 326th out of 347 teams. Will K expand the bench the next two nights? We should see the debut of Marshall Plumlee for Duke who returns from an injury.
Following an extended layoff, Duke will have more than one chance to flaunt its latest No. 1 ranking over a two-day span.
Back atop the poll for the first time in two seasons, the Blue Devils play the first of two home games on consecutive nights Wednesday versus Cornell.
With final exams finished, Duke (9-0) takes the court for the first time since a 90-67 win over Temple on Dec. 8. The Blue Devils will do so as the nation's top-ranked team after moving up one spot following Indiana's 88-86 overtime loss to Butler on Saturday.
More from NBC Sports
Fresh off a long break for their exam period, the Blue Devils return to the court to face back-to-back games against Cornell and Elon. Duke will face these next two opponents as the newly ranked top team in the nation. First up will be the Big Red of Cornell. Following a gauntlet of early season match ups against top flight competition, the Blue Devils will end the year with several contests in which the goal will be to improve and refine the system and rotation. Duke ail start that process against a Cornell team that isn't expected to put up much of a fight.
Redshirt freshman Marshall Plumlee is expected to make his season debut against the Big Red after battling a foot injury since early October. Additionally, it's likely that Duke will be resting Seth Curry's injured leg over the next two games, which opens minutes on the wing for players such as Amile Jefferson and Alex Murphy.
More from TheDevilsDen.com