Tallahassee, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Duke Blue Devils hit the road for two straight games, starting with Monday's ACC showdown with the Florida State Seminoles at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils are coming off a statement win, as they blew out Notre Dame in Durham on Saturday, 90-60. It marked the third straight win for Duke and the fourth this season over a top-10 opponent. The victory was the 20th of the year and kept the Blue Devils within striking distance in the ACC, at 7-3.
Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles are much farther down the conference ladder. FSU is hovering just over .500 overall at 13-11, but just under .500 in league play at 5-6. The team has come out victorious in three of its last four games though, including a 73-65 road win at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Duke has dominated this series, with a 33-9 advantage all-time. The Blue Devils has won the last two meetings overall and the last two matchups in Tallahassee.
The Blue Devils jumped all over the Irish on Saturday, shooting a ridiculous .810 from the floor in the first half (17-of-21), including 7-of-8 from behind the arc over the first 20 minutes to take an insurmountable 50-24 lead into intermission. Unlike the matchup in South Bend earlier in the year, Notre Dame was unable to battle back. Freshman Jahlil Okafor was masterful in the paint once again, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds, his eighth double-double of the season. Fellow freshman Justise Winslow recorded his third straight double-double with 19 points and 11 boards, while Matt Jones and Tyus Jones checked in with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
While the offensive performance against Notre Dame was certainly noteworthy, Duke has been extremely strong at that end of the floor all season. The team comes into this matchup averaging 80.6 ppg (eighth nationally), doing so on a cool .500 shooting (sixth nationally). The 6-11 Okafor has only solidified his positioning in this year's NBA Draft, should he elect to come out of school and turn pro. He leads the conference in field-goal percentage (.659) and ranks third in both scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg). Quinn Cook (14.2 ppg) is the veteran presence in the backcourt and can fill up the basket as well. Winslow (11.4 ppg) and Tyus Jones (11.1 ppg, 5.0 apg) continue an impressive youth movement for the Blue Devils.
It was a balanced effort for Florida State in Blacksburg on Saturday, as 10 players scored and the team tied a season-high with eight 3-pointers in an eight-point win at Cassell Coliseum. Montay Brandon led the charge offensively for FSU, finishing with 16 points. Xavier Rathan-Hayes registered a double- double with 12 points and 11 assists, while Devon Bookert chipped in 10 points for Florida State, which shot an impressive .543 from the floor in the victory.
The Seminoles don't usually put up huge scoring totals at a modest 68.5 ppg, but the team has been efficient for the most part, converting a healthy .464 from the field overall, despite a rather ugly .289 mark from behind the arc. The team has had to compensate for the loss of Aaron Thomas (14.8 ppg) early on, but others have stood up and filled the void. Rathan-Hayes has been outstanding at the point, as both a scorer (13.7 ppg) and deft distributor (4.8 apg). Brandon (12.8 ppg) and Bookert (10.2 ppg) round out the top offensive threats on the roster.