The No. 6 Duke Blue Devils look to rebound off of their third loss of the season this past Saturday, as they will travel to meet the Virginia Tech Hokies on Thursday night.
Thursday’s ACC tilt will be the first meeting between Duke and Virginia Tech this season. The Blue Devils, who came up short in their rematch against Maryland, will look to get back to their winning ways as the beginning of tournament play looms.
For Duke (22-3, 9-3), they are essentially competing for the second seed in the ACC Tournament, as the Miami Hurricanes and their impressive 13-0 conference record have all but locked up the regular season championship and the top seed in this year’s conference tournament.
Virginia Tech (11-14, 2-10) will be searching for their first win in over a month, as they are currently riding an insufferable eight-game losing streak with an average margin of defeat by 10.1 points. The Hokies were extremely gritty in their last outing on the road at North Carolina State, forcing the game into an extra period only to come up short in a four-point loss.
While it’s been a struggling season for Virginia Tech, senior guard Erick Green is in the middle of his best season in his collegiate career. Green currently leads the country in scoring with 25.3 points per game while shooting a career-high 47 percent from the field. Green has also scored at least 20 points in 23 of the Hokies 25 games this season, including three games with at least 30 points.
Thursday’s matchup will tip at approximately 9:00 PM ET and will be televised live on ESPN2. The game will also be broadcast on the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network (Sirius/XM – 91).
By The Numbers
• The Blue Devils are ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll and in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Duke is 104-29 all-time when ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll.
• The Blue Devils have been ranked in the AP Top 10 for 109 consecutive weeks. Duke had been ranked in the top five for 13 straight weeks prior to this week’s No. 6 ranking.
• Duke is playing its 202nd straight game as a top-10 team in the AP poll. Duke is 168-33 in that span.
• Head coach Mike Krzyzewski is tied with Adolph Rupp for the third-most wins by a coach at one school with 876.
• Duke is playing back-to-back road games – excluding neutral sites – for only the second time this season. Duke defeated Wake Forest and Florida State in consecutive road games on Jan. 30 and Feb. 2.
• Duke is 9-3 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium this season.
• Duke is one of only three teams in the top 10 of the Associated Press Poll (No. 6), Coaches Poll (No. 6), NCAA RPI (No. 1) and Strength of Schedule index (No. 1). Miami and Louisville are the other two teams ranked among the top 10.
• Duke leads the ACC in three-point percentage (.408) and three-point field goals per game (7.6 3pg.). The .408 clip would rank as the third-best in school history. Duke has made 10 or more three-point field goals eight times this season.
• Head coach Mike Krzyzewski is tied with Adolph Rupp for the third-most career victories at one school. Krzyzewski is 876-235 (.789) all-time as Duke’s head coach. Krzyzewski is three wins shy of tying Dean Smith for second all-time at one school and 34 shy of all-time leader Jim Boeheim.
• Coach K needs just one more win to reach 950 for his career. He is the winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball with 40 more wins than the next closest coach.
• Duke has lost back-to-back games just once since the 2009-10 season. Duke’s record following a loss during that span is 16-1.
Duke-Virginia Tech Series
• Duke leads the all-time series with Virginia Tech 40-8, with a combined 20-6 record in games outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke is 9-5 against Virginia Tech on the road and 11-1 at neutral sites.
• The Duke-Virginia Tech series began on Feb. 16, 1912 when Duke won 37-32.
• Duke is 11-3 against Virginia Tech under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
• Duke has won four straight meetings and eight of the last nine contests.
• The last two meetings have been decided by an average of 4.5 points. Duke defeated Virginia Tech 70-65 in overtime in the final meeting of the 2011-12 regular season and then pulled out a 60-56 win in the 2012 ACC Tournament.
• Duke is 11-3 against Virginia Tech since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004-05.
Duke Player Statistics
• Duke has the most productive starting lineup in the country with an average of 68.0 points per game coming from the starting ?ve.
• The group has combined to account for 87.0 percent of Duke’s total scoring this season, which is the second highest clip in the nation.
• Duke is one of only two teams in the ACC with five players averaging double-digit scoring. Mason Plumlee (17.6 ppg), Seth Curry (16.9), Ryan Kelly (13.4), Quinn Cook (12.3) and Rasheed Sulaimon (11.7) are all averaging double figures.
• Duke owns a 1.36:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which would best the school record of 1.32:1 set by the 2000-01 NCAA Championship team.
• Mason Plumlee needs just 13 more rebounds to reach 1,000 for his career. Plumlee would be the eighth Blue Devil to reach that mark and the third with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 150 blocks.
• Seth Curry has scored 20 or more points in seven of Duke’s 12 ACC games. He has scored in double figures in all but two of those games and averages 17.6 points per game in league play to rank third in the ACC. Curry also ranks among the top five in league play in three-pointers per game (t-1st, 3.0) and free throw percentage (3rd, .825).
• In Duke’s two games following a loss this season, freshman Rasheed Sulaimon averages a team-high 20.0 points per game while shooting .750 (9-of-12) from three-point range. Seth Curry averages 18.5 ppg and Mason Plumlee 17.5 ppg in games following a loss.
• Quinn Cook is attempting to join Dick Groat (1952), Jason Williams (2000, 2001) and Chris Duhon (2004) as the only players in Duke history to average at least 10.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.
By Chad Lykins