The top-ranked Blue Devils have a major showdown on tap this weekend, but will first try for their 15th straight home win over Clemson on Tuesday night.
It appears to be a down season for the ACC, with only two ranked teams. Duke (14-0, 1-0) will make the short journey Saturday to face No. 20 North Carolina State, the preseason pick to win the conference.
Before that, the Blue Devils will be heavily favored to beat Clemson (8-5, 0-1), which has not won at Cameron Indoor Stadium since a 75-70 victory Jan. 4, 1995.
Duke has taken 26 of the last 28 matchups, winning 73-66 on the road last season despite getting only 43 points from its starters.
Four of those starters are back, and the Blue Devils had four post double figures in points in winning their ACC opener, 80-62 over Wake Forest on Saturday. Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly each scored 22 as Duke forced 19 turnovers and committed six.
"We just have to continue to have a chip on our shoulder and be out there saying that we need to prove something to everyone every time," Kelly said. "Everybody wants to take us down from that (No. 1) spot, and everybody wants that spot, and we can't allow them to take it from us."
The only starter not to score in double figures was sophomore point guard Quinn Cook, who had no points and missed all 11 shots but recorded a career-high 14 assists.
"Quinn had a stat line that was very uncommon," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "You're 0 for 11 from the field, but you had 14 assists and one turnover. I'm glad that he didn't let the shooting affect how he handled the team."
Star big man Mason Plumlee was limited to 13 points and eight shots along with 12 boards, although the defensive attention focused on him and Curry contributed to Kelly's season-high point total in just 18 minutes.
"I do think that when you're trying to take Mason and Seth out of the game, that it opens it up a little bit more for Ryan," Krzyzewski said.
Clemson, the third-lowest scoring team in the conference at 66.6 points per game, fell 71-66 at home to Florida State on Saturday. Senior center Devin Booker had 19 points and 11 rebounds, but his teammates combined to shoot 30.2 percent.
"It was just my last ACC opener so I just wanted to give it all I had and just go out with a good mind-set but it just didn't come out that way," Booker said.
Clemson brings an inexperienced backcourt to Durham. Rod Hall logged seven minutes against Duke last season and Damarcus Harrison -- a fellow sophomore and transfer from BYU -- did not score against the Seminoles.
That should give Duke a decided edge with the senior Curry joining Cook and freshman Rasheed Sulaimon in Krzyzewski's three-guard lineup.
"We've got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try to go compete, that's what you've got to do," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "Right now we don't feel very good."