Game Day: Duke (24-3) vs. Georgia Tech (20-7)

A win on Wednesday night against Georgia Tech would secure yet another ACC regular season title for the Blue Devils. However for that to happen Duke will need a complete effort as the Yellow Jackets enter the game as one of the country's most dangerous teams. <I>TheDevilsDen.com</I> runs down the match up.

Game Facts:

The game will be televised nationally by ESPN with Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (color) and Doris Burke (sideline) calling the action. Tipoff is set for 7:01 PM.

The Series:

Overall                            Duke 52-20
At Cameron Indoor Stadium          Duke 26-4
uAt Alexander Memorial Coliseum    Duke 17-11
In ACC Tournament                  Tied 3-3
Current Streak                     Duke W 15
Longest Duke Win Streak            15 (1997-present)
Longest Georgia Tech Win Streak    2 (several times)
Biggest Duke Win                   98-54 (2/21/01)
Biggest GT Win                     83-72 (3/10/90)
                                   75-64 (3/9/85)
Duke Under Coach K                 37-15

This will mark the 73rd meeting between Duke and Georgia Tech with the Blue Devils holding a 52-20 series lead. Duke has won 15 consecutive games vs. Georgia Tech, including its eighth straight victory at Alexander Memorial Coliseum earlier this season. The 15 consecutive victories over Georgia Tech is the sixth-longest winning streak by one ACC opponent over another league foe in conference history.

Last Time:

On Jan. 31 in Atlanta, freshman Luol Deng scored a career-high 22 points as No. 1 Duke extended its winning streak to 15 games with an 82-74 victory over 14th-ranked Georgia Tech.

B.J. Elder made a couple of free throws with 2:52 left to get Georgia Tech within a basket, but the Yellow Jackets missed their next five shots. Duke pulled away when Daniel Ewing made a three and Shavlik Randolph dunked off a pass from Chris Duhon.

Elder fouled out after scoring just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting. Schenscher carried a big load with 18 points. Will Bynum added 13 but was only 4-of-16 from the field.

Notable:

  • With its 70-65 road win at Florida State on Feb. 29, Duke clinched at least a share of its sixth ACC regular season title in the past eight seasons. Duke is 12-2 in the league (6-2 on the road) and has two home games remaining vs. Georgia Tech on March 3 and North Carolina on March 6

  • The Blue Devils have dominated the ACC in recent years, winning the past five league tournament championships, finishing no lower than second in the regular season since 1996-97, and posting 107 ACC wins the past eight seasons

  • In the Associated Press poll, Duke is one of only two teams in the nation to be ranked among the nation's top 10 all season (Connecticut is the other). The No. 3 Blue Devils have not been ranked lower than sixth all season

  • After dropping two consecutive games at N.C. State and Wake Forest, Duke has a three-game winning streak in which it has limited opponents to 63.7 points and a .366 field goal percentage. The Blue Devils have recorded 31 steals and 21 blocks in those three.

  • Duke freshman Luol Deng, making his push for ACC and National Rookie of the Year honors, has earned the ACC Rookie of the Week award for the fourth time in five weeks on March 1. Deng averaged 19.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in wins over Valparaiso and Florida State last week. Deng had 22 points and 10 rebounds in the first Georgia Tech game this season.

  • Shelden Williams ranks second among active ACC players with 13 career double-doubles (North Carolina's Sean May has 14 to lead the league)

  • Chris Duhon became Duke's all-time steals leader with four thefts vs. Virginia on Feb. 11. Duhon now has 278 career thefts to his credit, fifth among ACC all-time leaders uDuhon has made 10 of his last 22 three-pointers (.455) and has gone 8-for-8 from the foul line over the last five games

  • Duke has six ACC road victories this season. The other eight teams in the league have combined for 16

  • As of March 1, Duke's +17.0 scoring margin ranked second nationally behind only Gonzaga's +17.1

  • Duke has been very balanced offensively this season as six players — J.J. Redick (16.4), Luol Deng (14.7), Shelden Williams (12.4), Daniel Ewing (12.0), Chris Duhon (10.0) and Shavlik Randolph (7.4) — are averaging at least 7.4 points per game. Duke's high scorer in a game this season is 28 by Redick at No. 21 N.C. State on Feb. 15. In 19 of the 27 games this season, Duke has had at least four double-digit scorers, including five games with five players reaching double figures and two with six.

  • season. The Blue Devils have limited opponents to a .400 field goal percentage overall, a .329 three-point percentage and 62.9 points per game (modern day school record is 63.2 in 1959-60). In addition, Duke has averaged 6.7 blocked shots (school record is 6.3 in 1998-99) and 17.9 forced turnovers per game this season.

    Eleven of Duke's last 22 opponents have shot .400 or less from the floor, including .318 by 11thranked Texas on Dec. 20, .400 by fifth-ranked Michigan State on Dec. 3, .353 by fourth-ranked Wake Forest on Jan. 17 and .377 by No. 14 Georgia Tech on Jan. 31.

  • Duke has a 105-40 record during the month of March under Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils have won 22 of their last 26 games in March dating back to the 2001 season.

  • Daniel Ewing is closing in on 1,000 career points. Ewing has 946 career points. His teammate, J.J. Redick, is up to 938 career points.

    Meet the Yellow Jackets:

    Probable Starting Lineup: 
       Jarrett Jack (6-3, 198, G, So.) – 12.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 2.0 spg
       Marvin Lewis (6-4, 205, G, Sr.) – 11.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
       B.J. Elder (6-4, 218, G, Jr.) – 16.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg
       Anthony McHenry (6-7, 218, F, Jr.) – 2.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg
       Luke Schenscher (7-1, 255, C, Jr.) – 8.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg
    Key Reserves: 
       Isma'il Muhammad (6-6, 225, F, Jr.) – 10.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg
       Will Bynum (6-0, 185, G, Jr.) – 10.4 ppg, 2.7 apg
       Clarence Moore (6-5, 215, F, Sr.) – 6.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg
       Theodis Tarver (6-9, 245, F, So.) – 1.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg
       Robert Brooks (6.8, 210, F, Sr.) – 1.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg
    

    Heading into the season many experts believed the Jackets had an outside shot to finish in sixth place in the ACC. However, an early season blow out of then number one UConn along with impressive wins at Wake Forest among others no ACC team has been able to look past Paul Hewitt's club.

    Georgia Tech enters the game with top ranked Duke coming off a victory over Clemson, which propelled the Jackets to the 20 win plateau and evened their ACC record at 7-7. Prior to the victory over the Tigers, Tech had dropped two straight to Wake Forest and NC State. Currently Hewitt has his team at 20-7 overall and 7-7 in the conference.

    Much like Duke's last opponent, Florida State, Georgia Tech's offense is based primarily on the strength of the perimeter game. When they are hitting from long range, the defense has to extend, allowing super sophomore point guard Jarret Jack to drive and create off the dribble. Perhaps the most dangerous Techster on the perimeter is junior wing B.J. Elder, who is coming off a career high 36 points against Clemson.

    While Elder and Jack are certainly high major players, the backcourt has recently gotten much better with the arrival of Arizona transfer Will Bynum, who can score from the perimeter or soar to the basket. Joining that trio is senior sharp shooter Marvin Lewis, who's hitting 40% of his perimeter shots while scoring 11 points per game. Lewis is certainly the player Duke doesn't want to send to the line where he's hitting 86% of his attempts.

    With a loaded backcourt, the Yellow Jackets are still searching for a dominant presence in the post. Last year they had Chris Bosh and Ed Nelson banging inside, this year the cuppard isn't nearly as full with the duo of 7-foot-1 Luke Schenscher and Clarence Moore, both of whom are able to score occasionally and routinely get to rebounds. Depth in the paint is provided by a pair of 6-foot-9 forwards in Robert Brooks and Theodis Tarver.

    A preview of Georgia Tech wouldn't be complete without mention of Isma'il Muhammad, who's ability to slash to the basket will remind many ACC fans of some of the better dunkers in league history.

    Once again the Yellow Jackets had an extra day to prepare for the Blue Devils, though they did have to travel from Atlanta to Durham while Duke returned from Tallahassee to prepare for tonight's showdown. A win by Duke will lengthen the nation's longest home court winning streak to 41 straight.

    Thanks to Duke Sports Information for much of this information; Photo courtesy of the AP


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