College Hoops Preview: What’s Up With Duke?

The Blue Devils lost back-to-back games last week for the first time since February 2018. After the first loss to unranked Clemson, ESPN opined that the Blue Devils were nonetheless underrated, but two days later they lost at home to #11 Louisville. So is Duke really underrated? They’re 2-1 against ranked teams and have a point differential of 18.4… they’re obviously very good. But the ACC is unusually soft this season and when ESPN made that claim, Duke was #3 in the country — do top-3 teams drop two straight to inferior opponents? Even after their second loss, ESPN’s BPI has Duke ranked #1. Duke’s D allowed Clemson to shoot 56.6% from the floor, and against Louisville, they hit just 37.1% from the floor — maybe these were blips, maybe cracks in the armor. Duke’s got a soft schedule the rest of the way, with #9 Florida the last ranked team between them and the NCAA tournament. Time will tell…

Here’s a look at this week’s college basketball schedule on Sling.

Monday, January 20
Oklahoma Sooners (12-5) vs #2 Baylor Bulldogs (15-1)
9pm ET on ESPN
Brady Manek led the Sooners to an 83-63 win over TCU on Saturday with 31 points and 9 rebounds. Baylor rebounded from a 9-point deficit at the half to defeat Oklahoma State 75-68 with Freddie Gillespie and Jared Butler each scoring a game-high 17.

Tuesday, January 21
Kansas State Cougars (8-9) vs #6 Kansas Jayhawks (14-3)
7pm ET on ESPN
On Saturday, Cartier Diarra scored 25 points with 6 boards and 4 dimes to lead K-State to an 84-68 win over #12 West Virginia, their first conference win of the season. Devon Dotson posted a 21-6-3 line on Saturday in the Jayhawks’ 66-57 win over Texas, which helped them hold onto 2nd place in the Big 12.

Miami Hurricanes (10-7) vs #3 Duke Blue Devils (15-3)
9pm ET on ESPN
The ‘Canes have lost 4-of-5 after losing 83-79 in overtime on Saturday to the #9 Florida State Seminoles. As mentioned above, the Blue Devils are coming off their worst week of the season, having lost 79-72 to Clemson on Tuesday and 79-73 to Louisville on Saturday, dropping them to 3rd in the ACC.

Wednesday, January 22
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-10) vs #11 Louisville Cardinals (15-3)
7pm ET on ACCNX
Jose Alvarado’s 20-point effort wasn’t enough for the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, as Georgia Tech fell 63-58 to the Virginia Cavaliers. In their 79-73 victory over Duke, the Cardinals survived an off night from Jordan Nwora, who managed just 6 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Thursday, January 23
#15 Michigan State Spartans (14-4) vs Indiana Hoosiers (14-4)
8:30pm ET on FS1
Xavier Tillman’s 15-9-4 line led the Spartans in all three categories as they defeated Wisconsin 67-55 on Friday. Behind Trayce Jackson-Davis’ 18 points and 13 rebounds, the Hoosiers beat Nebraska on Saturday, 82-74.

Friday, January 24
Marquette Golden Eagles (13-5) vs #5 Butler Bulldogs (15-3)
9pm ET on FS1
Marquette’s Markus Howard went off on Saturday, scoring 42 points in his team’s 84-80 win over Georgetown. Like Duke, Butler suffered back-to-back losses last week, falling 78-70 to #18 Seton Hall, and 79-66 to unranked DePaul.

Saturday, January 25
#10 Kentucky Wildcats (13-4) vs #23 Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-5)
6pm ET on ESPN
The ‘Cats beat Arkansas on Saturday, 73-66, with five players scoring at least 10 points to go along with at least 6 rebounds. Kyler Edwards scored 22 points and the Texas Tech D held Iowa State to just 3-of-22 shooting from beyond the arc for a 72-52 win on Saturday.

Sunday, January 26
#15 Michigan State Spartans (14-4) vs Minnesota Gophers (10-8)
3pm ET on FOX
In Friday’s win over Wisconsin, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston recorded 4 assists to pass Mateen Cleaves as the Big Ten’s all-time leader with 817. Daniel Oturu went 19-9 Sunday for Minnesota, but the Gophers fell 64-56 to Rutgers.

Stats through Sunday, courtesy SRCBB

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