THE OPENING TIP
- No. 9 Duke begins a three-game ACC road swing on Saturday with a visit to the Carrier Dome for a date with Syracuse.
- The game tips at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN with Doug Sherman and Corey Alexander on the call. On the radio, David Shumate and John Roth call the action on the Blue Devil Sports Network from Learfield IMG College (96.5FM & 610AM in Durham) and on Sirius 81 and XM 81.
- The Blue Devils are in second place in the ACC standings — 1.5 games back of the top spot, while the Orange are in a two-way tie for fourth place — three games back of first.
- Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski (1,149 wins) and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim (959) have combined for 2,108 wins – they are the two winningest coaches in NCAA history.
- The game matches up two of the ACC’s best defensive teams in conference play, with Duke ranked second in points allowed versus the ACC (64.6), and Syracuse fourth (65.4).
- Duke has faced eight of the ACC’s 20 leading scorers, and held all but one to below their season scoring average.
- Sophomore Tre Jones leads the ACC in assists (6.8). He is one of only three major conference players averaging 6.0+ assists and 2.0+ steals with a 2.0+ assist/turnover ratio.
- Freshman Vernon Carey Jr. leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.595), is fourth in the league in scoring (17.4) and fifth in rebounds (8.5). The three-time ACC Freshman of the Week has nine double-doubles this season.
- The Blue Devils are second in the NCAA in scoring margin (+19.0) and their four 30-point wins in ACC play have tied a school record set three previous times.
- Duke is ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll, extending the Blue Devils’ streak to 37 consecutive polls in the top 10 — the second-longest in the nation.
DUKE VS. SYRACUSE
Saturday’s game is just the 16th all-time meeting between Duke and Syracuse, with the Blue Devils leading 9-6…The teams met three times last season, splitting on each other’s home courts, and the Blue Devils prevailing in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament…Since Syracuse joined the ACC, Duke leads the series 7-4 — in those 11 games, two have been decided in overtime and the average margin of victory has been just 7.8 points…Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim served as an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski‘s Team USA staffs that won Olympic gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016…The two coaches are first and second, respectively, in all-time victories — Coach K with 1,149 and Boeheim with 959.
SHUTTING DOWN YOUR SCORER
Duke has held the opponent’s leading scorer to below his season scoring average 14 times this season, including in 12 of the last 13 games…In ACC play, Duke has faced eight of the conference’s 15 leading scorers 11 times, and held all but one (Clemson’s Amir Simms) to below the player’s season scoring average…Wake Forest’s Brandon Childress was held scoreless in Duke’s win on Jan. 11 at Cameron Indoor — he’s eighth in the ACC at 15.7 points, while the ACC’s second-leading scorer Jordan Nwora (19.5) was limited to six points in the Cardinals’ victory on Jan. 18…Nwora’s six points stand as a season low … Landers Nolley II (Virginia Tech) scored seven versus Duke — his fewest in ACC play and second-fewest this season … Miami’s Chris Lykes has been limited to single-digit points in ACC play just twice — both versus Duke.
SCOUTING THE ORANGE
Syracuse is 13-8 overall and 6-4 in ACC play, which includes splitting the series with Virginia Tech, Virginia and Notre Dame…The Orange are coming off a 71-70 loss at Clemson Tuesday that snapped their five-game winning streak…The ACC’s leading scorer is Elijah Hughes, who averages 19.3 points and is shooting .432 from the field and .373 from three-point range. Buddy Boeheim is the ACC’s leading three-point shooter at .403 (75-of-186)…Four Orange are scoring in double figures, including Marek Dolezaj’s 10.0 points and team-leading 7.1 rebounds.
DUKE AWAY FROM CAMERON
In the Coach K era, Duke is 256-143 (.642) in true road games and 276-77 (.780) in neutral site games, for a combined mark of 532-220 (.706) in all games outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium…In ACC regular season play, Duke is 186-118 (.612) away from home under Coach K. The Blue Devils are 130-65 (.667) in ACC road games since the 1996-97 season…Dating back to the 2017-18 season, Duke has won 15 of its last 20 ACC road games. It is the Blue Devils’ best stretch on the road in the ACC since winning of 16 of 20 from the 2010-11 season to 2012-13…Coach K has also won 16 road games against AP top five teams, the most in the history of the AP poll.
SECOND IN SCORING MARGIN
Duke is second nationally in scoring margin at +18.7 and tied for third nationally in scoring offense at 82.7…Seven of Duke’s 17 wins are by 30+ points, including four ACC wins by 30+, which ties a program record…The program record for most 30-point wins in ACC play was previously set in 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2000-01…The 39-point margin in the BC win (88-49) was Duke’s largest in an ACC game since beating Georgia Tech, 110-57, on Jan. 3, 2017.
DUKE IN THE POLLS
Duke entered the week ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll, extending the nation’s second-longest active streak of top-10 appearances to 37 weeks…The Blue Devils have also been ranked in the top 10 at least once in 24 consecutive seasons — the longest active streak nationally…Duke went wire-to-wire in the AP top five last season for the ninth time in school history — all coming under Coach K…With Duke ranked No. 1 earlier this season, head coach Mike Krzyzewski passed UCLA legend John Wooden for most wins as the coach of a No. 1-ranked team.
LAST GAME: DUKE 79, PITT 67
Freshman Vernon Carey Jr., recorded his ninth double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday’s win — all nine have been 15-10 efforts, and seven have been 20-10 efforts…Junior Jordan Goldwire had a career night with career highs in points (13) and made three-pointers (3-of-7)…Duke led by as many as 18 in the second half, before holding off a Pitt rally that trimmed the margin to as few as three (68-65) with 4:30 to play…Sophomore Tre Jones added 14 points, eight assists and no turnovers — his seventh career game with 7+ assists and no turnovers. No other Duke player in history has more than four such games.
TATUM, INGRAM NAMED NBA ALL-STARS
Former Duke stars Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram have each been named to the NBA All-Star Game for the first time in their young careers…Tatum, in his third year with the Boston Celtics, was an NBA Rising Star last season. He’s averaging 21.5 points and 6.9 rebounds for the third-place Celtics this season…Ingram is having a career year for the Duke-dominated New Orleans Pelicans. The fourth-year pro is averaging 25.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting .471 from the field…The Blue Devils now boast 10 NBA All-Stars, who have earned 26 all-time selections.
Duke has had at least one NBA All-Star in four consecutive years, in eight of the last nine years and in 11 of the last 15…With Marques Bolden recently earning a 10-day contract form the Cleveland Cavaliers, Duke now has 25 players on active NBA rosters, tying the record the Blue Devils set last season for the most by any ACC school in a single season in the history of the NBA.