Though a report involving a recently dismissed team member has cast a shadow over the Duke program, the team's only concerned with building more momentum heading into the postseason.
Before the third-ranked Blue Devils can focus on a regular-season finale against their archrival, they'll try to continue their home dominance of a Wake Forest team that's looking to avoid a 13th straight ACC road loss Wednesday night.
Trying to nail down second place in the conference, Duke (26-3, 13-3) followed an overtime win at Virginia Tech by rolling to a ninth straight victory with Saturday's 73-54 triumph over Syracuse.
"We have some momentum going, things we can build on, but we're not satisfied," said freshman Justise Winslow, who had 23 points and nine rebounds. "Coming into games, we don't expect any margin of victory. We just want to go out there and compete."
That remains the focus even after a report in the school newspaper stated that guard Rasheed Sulaimon, who was dismissed from the team in January, allegedly sexually assaulted two women in 2013-14. Coach Mike Krzyzewski refused to comment on the situation Monday and the university issued a statement saying it "is prohibited by law from disclosing publicly any particular student's confidential education records."
The report comes as the Blue Devils continue their pursuit of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. A quest they won't take for granted.
"We have a high ceiling as a team, and when we can get to that ceiling we'll be really great," Winslow said. "But right now we're not there, so we've just got to keep improving and trying to get better."
Before the challenges of the ACC tournament, Duke ends the regular season at No. 19 North Carolina on Saturday. The Tar Heels should be ripe for revenge after losing 92-90 in overtime at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 18.
However, the Blue Devils' immediate focus is to record a 16th straight home win over Wake Forest (13-16, 5-11)
In a 73-65 victory at Wake on Jan. 7, Winslow scored 20, Jahlil Okafor added 12 with 11 boards and senior Quinn Cook scored nine of his 12 after Duke fell behind by one with 6:04 to play before rallying.
Though Okafor (18.2 points, 9.6 rebounds game), Cook (15.9 ppg) and improving reserve Grayson Allen are each dealing with ankle injuries, all three are likely to play Wednesday.
"We have to get ready physically," said Krzyzewski, whose team has shot 52.5 percent in the last four games. "We have three guys now with bad ankles. It's not a good thing. ... We have got to get them well, going not just into the ACC tournament, but the NCAAs are the most important."
The Blue Devils have won their last four at home against the Demon Deacons by an average of 19.0 points.
With its final two games away from home, Wake Forest is trying to avoid going winless on the road in ACC play for the third time in five seasons. Though the Deacons have dropped 42 of their last 44 league road contests, they lost by one at ACC-champion Virginia on Feb. 14.
"They're going to be tough like all road games are," said Wake Forest coach Danny Manning, whose team snapped a three-game skid with Sunday's 69-66 win over Pittsburgh. "We're looking forward to the challenge."
Wake forward Devin Thomas (12.2 ppg) scored 24 against the Blue Devils in January, but has totaled eight points in the last two games.
Previewing Duke v. Wake Forest
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