Game Day: Duke (25-4) vs. Virginia (17-11)

The road to a sixth straight ACC Championship begins Friday afternoon against the Virginia Cavaliers, who defeated Clemson in Thursday night's play-in game. <I></I> runs down the match up.

Game Facts:

Duke (25-4, 13-3 ACC), ranked fifth in the nation by the AP and fourth by ESPN/USA Today, will face Virginia (17-11, 7-10) on March 12 in the quarterfinals of the 2004 ACC Tournament in Greensboro. Tipoff is set for noon. The game will be broadcast by ESPN and Raycom/JP.

The Series

Overall                      Duke 103-47
At Cameron Indoor Stadium    Duke 43-8
A University Hall            Duke 20-19
In ACC Tournament            Duke 12-3
Current Streak               Duke W 5
Longest Duke Win Streak      22 (1959-68)
Longest Virginia Win Streak  9 (1980-83)
Biggest Duke Win             115-69 (1/10/99)
Biggest Virginia Win         109-66 (3/11/83)
Duke Under Coach K           39-15

This will mark the 151st meeting between the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers with Duke holding a 103-47 series advantage, including a 12-3 mark in the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils have controlled the series in recent years, winning 18 of the past 20 meetings. Under Coach K, Duke is 39-15 vs. the Cavaliers.

Last Time:

After missing most of the first half with the injury, Luol Deng scored all 11 of his points in the second half to lift No. 1 Duke past Virginia 93-75 on February 11, 2004.

J.J. Redick scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures for the Blue Devils , who had won 18 straight games overall and 39 in a row at Cameron Indoor Stadium at the time..

Shelden Williams added 19 points and 12 rebounds.


*- Duke will be gunning for its sixth consecutive ACC Tournament championship this week in Greensboro. The Blue Devils' last loss in the ACC Tournament came on March 8, 1998 (83-68 to North Carolina in the title game) and its 15-game winning streak in league tournament play is an ACC record by six games

*- Duke clinched its 16th ACC regular season title — the 10th in the past 19 seasons under Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils won their sixth ACC regular season title in the past eight seasons.

*- Duke's entire regular starting five — Chris Duhon, J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, Luol Deng and Daniel Ewing — each earned some kind of All-ACC recognition this week. Duhon was first team All-ACC, Redick and Williams second team, Deng third team and Ewing an honorable mention selection.

*- Duke jumped to No. 1 in the latest RPI ratings with its 70-65 victory over North Carolina on March 6. The Blue Devils' strength of schedule was ranked seventh nationally by the RPI.

*- Duke has posted a 72-36 record (.667) in the ACC Tournament, including a 25-14 mark in Greensboro. Duke has won 14 league championships, the second highest championship total by any team in the league.

Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke is 34-14 in the ACC Tournament. Coach K's Blue Devils have won eight ACC Tournament titles

*- Duke has had a total of 102 first (56) or second team (46) ACC All-Tournament honorees, including three a year ago. Of Duke's returning players, Chris Duhon (2nd team in 2002), Daniel Ewing (ACC Tournament MVP in 2003) and J.J. Redick (2nd team in 2003) are the three current Duke players who've earned ACC All-Tournament recognition in their careers.

*- Shelden Williams has blocked a team- and ACC-best 92 shots this season, while Shavlik Randolph (49) and Luol Deng (31) each have at least 31 rejections so far this year. Williams leads the league in blocked shots, Randolph ranks third and Deng is 10th among the ACC leaders.

*- Duke has been solid from the free throw line this season. The Blue Devils' free throw percentage is .740 (490-of-662). Duke has made 490 foul shots while its opponents have attempted just 499. The .740 free throw percentage is the best for Duke since connecting on .742 of its foul shots in 1999-2000.

Sophomore J.J. Redick has connected on 124-of-128 foul shots this season for an ACC-best .969 free throw percentage (he ranks second nationally).

*- Shelden Williams ranks in a second place among active ACC players with 14 career double-doubles (North Carolina's Sean May has 15). Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds vs. Georgia Tech on March 3 for his eighth double-double of the year

*- Duke has been very balanced offensively this season as five players — J.J. Redick (16.6), Luol Deng (14.7), Shelden Williams (12.1), Daniel Ewing (12.0), Chris Duhon (10.1) — are averaging at least 10.0 points per game.

Meet the Cavaliers:

Probable Starting Lineup: 
   Todd Billet (6-0, 192, G, Sr.) – 9.9 ppg, 3.2 apg
   Gary Forbes (6-6, 201, G, Sr.) – 7.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg
   Derrick Byars (6-7, 205, F, So.) – 7.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg
   Devin Smith (6-6, 235, F, Jr.) – 12.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg
   Elton Brown (6-9, 255, C, Jr.) – 15.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Key Reserves: 
   J.R. Reynolds (6-3, 190, G, Fr.) – 8.4 ppg
   Jason Clark (6-8, 234, F, Jr.) – 4.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg
   Jason Cain (6-9, 197, F, Fr.) – 2.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg
   Majestic Mapp (6-2, 185, G, Sr.) – 1.7 ppg, 0.9 apg

After starting the season with a lot of promise, the Virginia Cavaliers have fallen on hard times in conference play, losing seven of their first nine games. It doesn't get any easier for head coach Pete Guillen's troops on Wednesday as they travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face a Duke team that easily beat them by 22 in the first meeting. To make matters worse for Virginia, they enter sporting a four game losing streak.

The game plan for the Cavaliers starts with junior big man Elton Brown, who is the team's leading scorer at over 15 points per game. Despite his 6-foot-9, 255 pound frame Brown often hears the knock that he plays soft on the interior. He's also been foul prone when playing against equally talented big men. Joining Brown on the front line is junior big forward Devin Smith, who has been hot lately – scoring in double figures in eight of the previous nine games. Despite his big frame he is an above average perimeter shooter who gets hot in streaks.

The backcourt is anchored by senior Todd Billet, who is one of the better perimeter shooters in the league when able to get an open look. Unfortunately he's not always able to create the needed space to get his shot off – certainly he's been a disappointment after being tabbed as preseason all-conference. Joining Billet in the backcourt has been 6-foot-6 Gary Forbes, who's been streaky at best this year.

Off the bench for Virginia, Pete Guillen has gotten a steady rotation to produce off and on with freshman J.R. Reynolds leading the charge at 7.7 points per game as the sixth man. Former McDonalds All-American Majestic Mapp's tragic career is winding down in unspectacular fashion at just under two points per game in very limited action. The front court reserves are Jason Clark (6'8), and Jason Cain (6'9) who will occasionally steal minutes against deep front lines or when Brown has foul or stamina trouble.

Thanks to Duke Sports Information for some of this information; Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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