Both teams are undefeated at this point in the season, with Davidson winning two games by double digits, and Duke earning one blowout and simply surviving in two others.
The Wildcats have beaten up on Guilford (111-64) and Richmond (74-61) thus far, both at home, and coach Bob McKillop's club will open the season playing five of its first eight games in front of the hometown faithful. Davidson, which is one of the favorites to win the Southern Conference title this year, has won 12 of its last 15 games, dating back to last season, and the team has posted nine straight winning campaigns.
Duke had a surprisingly difficult time in its season opener against Belmont (77-76), but then demolished Presbyterian (96-55) -- both in Durham. The Blue Devils then traveled to the Big Apple where they took on Michigan State, and a 74-69 win over the Spartans earned Coach K his 903rd career win to pass Bob Knight as the winningest coach at the Division I level -- 830 of his victories have come at Duke.
The Blue Devils come into this clash sporting the nation's longest home winning streak at 38 games, and they have dominated the Wildcats over the years, claiming an 87-17 advantage in the all-time series. Duke has won 22 straight over Davidson, and 47 in a row over SoCon opponents. The Blue Devils' last loss to the Wildcats was a 75-73 decision on December 29, 1981.
Jake Cohen produced a line of 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots, all of which helped Davidson pick up its second win in as many chances this season, as the Wildcats topped visiting Richmond on Monday, 74-61. De'Mon Brooks added 14 points and seven boards, Chris Czerapowicz tallied 13 points and nine rebounds, and JP Kuhlman chipped in with 11 points for Davidson, which struggled to find its offensive stroke, instead relying on a stifling defensive effort to keep the Spiders at bay. Richmond shot just 34.8 percent from the field, which included a 2-of-10 showing from three-point range. The 'Cats logged a 39-27 rebounding edge, thus leading to a 12-2 advantage in second-chance points. Cohen, now a junior, has scored at least 20 points seven times in his career, and he ranks second on the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) for the season, as Brooks leads the way with his 19.0 ppg.
Duke got solid efforts from a couple of players in Tuesday's 74-69 win over Michigan State, as Andre Dawkins poured in 26 points on the strength of six three-pointers, and Seth Curry added 20 points after converting 10-of-12 free- throw opportunities. As a team, the Blue Devils shot 43.6 percent from the field, and nailed 10 treys, and it also helped that they outscored the Spartans by a 30-13 margin at the foul line. Both teams were sloppy with the ball, as Duke committed 17 turnovers and MSU had 21. The Spartans dominated the paint, logging a 34-12 edge in points there, and they also had advantages in both second-chance points (10-1) and fast break points (10-2). While it's only been three games, Curry leads five players in double figures with his 15.3 ppg. Mason Plumlee is averaging a near double-double with 11.0 points and 9.0 caroms per contest for a team that is hitting better than 41 percent of its three-point tries and is averaging just shy of 50 rebounds per game.