(4) Duke(20-2) at Boston College (10-12)
Sunday, February 10, 6 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Conte Forum (8,606) -- Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Duke 12-0, BC 8-5. Away Record: Duke 2-2, BC 2-5. Neutral Record: Duke 6-0, BC 0-2. Conference Record: Duke 7-2, BC 2-7. Series Record: Duke leads, 14-2.
GAME NOTES: With a possible return to the number one ranking on the line, the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils head to Conte Forum for an Atlantic Coast Conference bout against the Boston College Eagles.
Florida and both Big Ten powers Michigan and Indiana sustained losses this week, making Duke one of the prime candidates to become the top ranked squad in the nation once again.
Duke conveniently has a matchup against a team is has dominated for this crucial game. The Blue Devils own a 14-2 all-time series lead over Boston College. This is the first meeting of the season as Boston College will visit Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 24.
Since being blasted by Miami in a 90-63 loss, Duke has reeled off four consecutive victories with the most recent coming at home after it finished off a 98-85 win over NC State. The victory improved Mike Krzyzewski's squad to 20-2 overall, but it still enters Sunday trailing Miami for first place in the ACC by 2.5 games. Duke's inside-outside combo of Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry has fueled its stellar season. Plumlee is posting 18.2 points and 10.7 boards per game in his first season as the featured player in Coach K's system, while Curry is netting 16.7 ppg with 42.3 percent efficiency from 3-point range.
Both players were very effective against NC State. Plumlee totaled a game-high 30 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Curry pumped in 26 points. Quinn Cook added 21 points and four assists to help the Blue Devils avenge the 84-76 loss they suffered to the Wolfpack in Raleigh on Jan. 12. Duke shot an overwhelming 53.8 percent from the floor, including 10-of-24 from beyond the arc, while adding 32 additional points at the charity stripe in the contest. The stellar offensive outing is customary for the Blue Devils, who are leading the ACC with 79.0 ppg, outscoring the opposition by an average of 14.6 ppg.
Steve Donahue's Eagles are just a half-game ahead of the last place Virginia Tech Hokies entering Sunday's action after sustaining losses in seven of nine games since conference play began. Boston College was downed by 22 points on the road on Tuesday when they visited the undefeated Miami Hurricanes in Coral Gables. Sophomore forward Ryan Anderson, who paces the unit with 16.0 points and 8.8 boards per tilt, was able to register a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds in the setback.
Olivier Hanlan went 8-of-14 from the floor for a team-high 16 points as the team shot a collective 37 percent overall against the Hurricanes. Defensively, Boston College allowed Miami to shoot 47.4 percent from the field including 11- of-22 from beyond the arc. The Eagles had previously lost to the ACC leaders by just a single point at home. Hanlan is the second leading scorer for the team with 13.8 ppg and freshman guard Joe Rahon runs the offense to deal out 3.6 assists per contest.
Boston College has potential with a roster filled with young players registering plenty of minutes this season, but its youth has also hurt it against the top tier teams. Duke is playing at a very high level right now and the struggling Eagles will not be able to matchup inside or out with Coach K's elite program.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 79, Boston College 61
02/10 10:32:39 ET