ACC NCAA Basketball: Blue Devils @ Cardinals Preview

February 12, 2019 by Ryan Knuppel

Louisville Cardinals vs Duke Blue DevilsYet another heavyweight ACC matchup tips off Tuesday night as Duke travels to take on Louisville in a top 25 matchup. Duke leads the all time series 9-6, and have won 2 straight head to head against Louisville.

Duke is coming off an impressive 81-71 win at #3 Virginia on Saturday. Last Saturday (2/2) they beat St. Johns 91-61 at home, and on Tuesday (2/5) they beat Boston College 80-55 at home.

Louisville is coming off an 80-75 loss on Saturday at #22 Florida State. Last Saturday (2/2) they lost 79-69 to #9 North Carolina at home, and last Monday (2/4) they beat #11 Virginia Tech 72-64 on the road.

On the season, Duke is 15-8 ATS, 6-2 ATS on the road, and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games. On the season, Louisville is 13-10-1 ATS, 6-7-1 ATS at home, and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games.

BetOnline has Duke as 6.5 point favourites with an O/U total of 151.5.

#2 Duke Blue Devils

(21-2 overall, 7-1 on the road, 9-1 in conference)

Duke averages 86.8 PPG, 42.2 RPG, 16.9 APG, 10.5 SPG, 7.4 BPG, and 12.7 TPG. As a team they shoot 48.9% from the field, 67.7% from the free throw line, and 32.0% from 3 point range. Defensively they hold teams to 65.5 PPG, 35.2 RPG, 38.6% shooting from the field, and 29.5% shooting from 3 point range.

R.J. Barrett leads the Blue Devils with 23.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 3.7 APG and 1.0 SPG while shooting 45.2% from the field, 67.6% from the free throw line, and 33.3% from 3 point range. Zion Williamson is his running mate with 21.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2.2 SPG and 2.0 BPG while shooting 68.4/66.0/30.2. Cam Reddish factors in with 13.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.1 SPG, and 35.3% shooting from 3. Tre Jones (8.7 PPG/3.5 RPG/5.6 APG/2.0 SPG), Marques Bolden (5.7 PPG/4.7 RPG/2.0 BPG/57.8% from the field), Jack White (4.8 PPG/5.7 RPG/0.8 SPG/1.2 BPG), and Alex O’Connell (4.5 PPG/1.6 RPG/0.8 SPG/36.7% from 3) chip in big minutes as well.

#16 Louisville Cardinals

(17-7 overall, 12-2 at home, 8-3 in conference)

Louisville Cardinals averages 78.6 PPG, 37.5 RPG, 14.0 APG, 4.9 SPG, 3.0 BPG, and 12.9 TPG. As a team they shoot 45.7% from the field, 76.7% from the free throw line, and 36.5% from 3 point range. Defensively they hold teams to 68.5 PPG, 33.4 RPG, 41.3% shooting from the field, and 32.4% shooting from 3 point range.

They are led by forward Jordan Nwora who averages 17.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.5 APG and 1.0 SPG while shooting 46.1% from the field, 74.8% from the free throw line and 38.1% from 3 point range. Dwayne Sutton contributes 11.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG while shooting 48.6/74.6/40.9. Christen Cunningham is a solid #3 at 10.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.7 APG and 39.3% shooting from 3. Steven Enoch (9.2 PPG/5.0 RPG/0.6 BPG/57.2% from the field), Ryan McMahon (8.0 PPG/1.2 RPG/1.9 APG/37.9% from 3), Malik Williams (7.9 PPG/5.3 RPG/1.4 BPG) and Darius Perry (5.5 PPG/1.2 RPG/1.7 APG) contribute as well.

Predictions

Duke is just at another level than any team in the NCAA right now. While they do have their fatal flaws (32% shooting from 3), their combination of shot creating, interior presence, and transition offense when they have the ball is impossible to matchup with. On the other end of the floor, they grab 10.5 steals per game and block 7.4 shots per game, both good for best in the NCAA by a sizeable margin.

Their 2 way play has led to a dominant level of winning over their last 6 games, with an average scoring margin of +19.2 PPG. Louisville is good at everything, but not great at anything, and while they have shown they belong in the top 20 with competitive games recently against North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Florida State, they are outmatched at all 5 positions on the floor at a given time, and Duke should walk out of here with a healthy win. Expect Louisville to make this competitive, but with Duke’s star power taking over down the stretch for a cover.

Final Pick: Duke Blue Devils (-6.5)