Having Duke's Number
Duke is used to dominating opponents at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a combination of superior skill and some help from its intimidating student section.
Maryland, however, hasn't always been willing to cooperate.
The second-ranked Blue Devils look to win their 12th straight game while trying to avoid a third home loss in four tries against the Terrapins on Wednesday.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Duke -12 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 90% of bets for this game have been placed on Maryland +12 (View College Basketball bet percentages).
Duke (21-1, 9-0 ACC) is only a one-point overtime loss to then 11th-ranked Pittsburgh away from being undefeated. But since that loss on Dec. 20, the Blue Devils have been perfect, winning 10 of their 11 games by double digits.
The lone single-digit victory came at Maryland on Jan. 27, when the Terrapins led Duke 51-42 at halftime. But the Blue Devils responded with 51 in the second half en route to a 93-84 win.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski called it Duke's "most impressive half of the season."
The Blue Devils have won two of the past three games with the Terrapins in College Park, but Maryland (16-8, 6-3) has done the same when traveling to Durham.
Duke is 41-5 over the past three seasons on its home floor, but the Terrapins have two of those wins. They shocked the then-No. 2 Blue Devils 75-66 on Jan. 26, 2005, then upset then 14th-ranked Duke 85-77 at Cameron Indoor last season.
Duke has had little trouble regardless of where it's been playing lately. It won its first nine ACC games by an average of 14.4 points, and is third in the country in scoring at 86.0 per game.
The Blue Devils scored an impressive road win at then-No. 3 North Carolina on Wednesday, then reached 90 for the fourth time in conference play on Saturday, beating Boston College 90-80 thanks to 49 second-half points.
"I was more worried about this game than (North Carolina),'' Krzyzewski said. "Not that I was sure we were going to win on Wednesday, but I was sure we'd be ready, sure that we were going to be there. We just weren't sharp (against Boston College)."
Senior DeMarcus Nelson has been the catalyst for Duke's offense. He is scoring 15.5 points per game, and had stepped up even more in his last seven, averaging 19.4 points on 54.8 percent shooting.
He had 23 against the Eagles, but despite being the team's leading scorer, Nelson recognizes that if Duke is to get to his first Final Four, it'll have to be a team effort.
"This team is about winning," Nelson said. "It's not about one player, it's not about me, it's not about (Coach Krzyzewski), it's not about anybody. It's about the program winning."
Nelson scored a career-high 27 against Maryland last month.
He's gotten a lot of help recently from Kyle Singler. The 6-foot-8 freshman scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Boston College, and is averaging 17.8 points in his last four games.
The Terrapins haven't lost since Duke's visit on Jan. 27, winning four straight by an average of 7.8 points.
Senior forward James Gist scored a career-high 30 in their latest win, 84-70 over North Carolina State on Saturday.
"We realized the importance of this game," Gist said. "We had two games we got road wins in and we got a chance to come back home and play in front of our crowd."
Gist is averaging 22.0 points and 8.7 rebounds in the six games since Maryland knocked off then top-ranked North Carolina on Jan. 19.
Gist and Greivis Vasquez have been an excellent 1-2 punch. Vazquez is one of the ACC's top all-around players, averaging 16.9 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds.
He had 13 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds against the Wolfpack.
by: Staff Writers - Email Us
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