|Duke Looks for Win, Bettors Want Clemson to Cover|
|Written by TheSpread|
|Thursday, 25 January 2007 08:00|
College Basketball: Clemson at Duke -Blue Devils Favored
51% of Bets Placed on Clemson 7 | Matchup | CBB Picks
After losing back-to-back games to open its conference schedule, Duke (16-3, 3-2) has bounced back to win three straight, with each victory coming by at least 20 points.
The Blue Devils are coming off a 79-56 win over North Carolina State on Saturday as freshman Jon Scheyer led five players in double figures with 20 points. Duke, which is last in the ACC with 69.5 points per game, matched its second-highest scoring output of the season.
"If we play the right way, that's how it should be every game," Scheyer said of the team's offensive balance. "We have a lot of different guys who can score the ball and make plays. I think we did a really good job of playing to each guy's strengths today."
Duke, which leads the ACC in scoring defense, held the Wolfpack to 34.1 percent shooting - N.C. State's worst performance of the season.
"We are becoming better as a team," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We prepared with passion and played with passion."
While Duke is recovering from a rough beginning in ACC play, Clemson (18-2, 4-2) started off strong before faltering in the past two weeks.
The Tigers were the last unbeaten team in Division I before falling at Maryland on Jan. 13 to snap their 17-game run to open the season. When they lost their second consecutive game, 77-55 to No. 4 North Carolina on Jan. 17, coach Oliver Purnell challenged his team to play like it had been earlier in the season.
The Tigers responded with a 74-54 win over Boston College on Saturday as Cliff Hammonds led the Tigers with 17 points and five assists, and Clemson forced 21 turnovers.
"The way he had to do it was to go in the hallways with some tough love," Hammonds said. "Now we're back on the right track."
Clemson, though, has lost 19 straight to Duke since an 86-82 overtime victory on Jan. 7, 1997. The Tigers hope Saturday's win over conference-leading Boston College will boost their confidence heading into Durham.
"We (beat) a first-place team coming into our house on a Saturday afternoon," Purnell said. "Our guys think this should happen. We should be a tough out here."
Clemson is 4-52 all-time at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the Blue Devils are 82-4 over the past six seasons. But the Tigers lead the ACC in scoring on the road, and are off to their best start since the 1986-87 season, when they finished 25-6 and 13th in the rankings.
The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 97-27.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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