Preview: Duke (8-0) vs. Texas (8-0)

The Blue Devils will face their biggest test of the young season when Duke heads to New Jersey to face the Texas Longhorns on Saturday in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown. TDD previews the match up.

1/1 Duke (8-0) vs. 2/2 Texas (8-0)
East Rutherford, N.J. – Continental Airlines Arena
12:30 p.m., CBS
Verne Lundquist (pxp) and Billy Packer (color) will call the action.
Program Vitals
Conference: Big 12
Nickname: Long Horns
Colors: Orange & White
Head Coach: Rick Barnes (8th year)
Career Record at Texas: 169-69
Last Year: 20-11 (NCAA First Round)

Projected Starters: 
   Kenton Paulino (6-1, 185, Sr.)  - 5.6 ppg, 3.4 apg
   Daniel Gibson (6-2, 190, So.) – 13.4 ppg, 3.6 apg,
   P.J. Tucker (6-5, 225, Jr.) – 16.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg
   Brad Buckman (6-8, 235, Sr.) – 13.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg
   LaMarcus Aldridge (6-10, 237, Jr.) – 17.5 ppg, 10.4 rpg

Key Reserves: 
   Mike Williams  (6-7, 230, So.) – 4.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg
   A.J. Abrams (5-10, 155, Fr.) – 4.6 ppg, 2.0 apg
   J.D. Lewis  (6-1, 180, So.) – 3.5 ppg
   Craig Winder (6-2, 190, Jr.) – 1.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg
   Conner Atchley (6-9, 225, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg


Top Teams Face Off: This marks the 35th time that the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in The Associated Press college basketball poll have met. The most recent time this occurred was in last year's NCAA Championship game, when No. 2 North Carolina defeated No. 1 Illinois 75-70 (April 4, 2005). It also is the 18th regular-season match up between the top two teams in the AP poll and first since No. 2 North Carolina topped No. 1 Duke 97-73 on Feb. 5, 1998 in Chapel Hill.

Texas will be looking to knock off the AP No. 1 team for the first time in school history. Since The Associated Press began its poll on Jan. 20, 1949, Texas has faced the top-ranked team five times. The Horns are 0-5 in those contests.

Orange Glass Cleaners The Longhorns have three players averaging eight or more rebounds per game led by sophomore center LaMarcus Aldridge's 10.4 rebounds per contest. Fellow frontcourt running mates P.J. Tucker (8.0) and Brad Buckman (8.3) are the other two Texans putting in work on the boards.

Aldridge has posted seven double-doubles in the first eight games. He leads the team in scoring (17.5 ppg), rebounding (10.4 rpg) and blocks (17).

Top reserve Mike Williams also filled in nicely at the starting power forward spot when Buckman missed two games (Louisiana-Monroe and UTPan American) with a hip injury. Through the first eight games, UT's starting frontcourt has posted a +25.1 scoring margin and a +14.2 rebound margin over its opponent's starting frontcourt.

- Although the Horns and Blue Devils have met just twice before on the hardcourt, the two respective head coaches do have quite a history. Mike Krzyzewski-led teams hold a 7-3 advantage over Rick Barnes' squads (Barnes coached at Clemson from 1994-95 to 1997-98).

- Saturday's contest marks the third meeting between Texas and Duke, with the Blue Devils holding a 2-0 lead in the series. Both of the previous match-ups have come at Madison Square Garden. The Blue Devils posted a 95-69 victory in the 2000 Preseason NIT semifinals on Nov. 22, 2000 in the first match up between the two schools. Duke then registered an 89-61 win in the Dreyfus Classic on Dec. 20, 2003.

- The Blue Devils are coming off a 72-59 win over Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Senior guard J.J. Redick posted a game-high 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting to lead the Blue Devils. Redick also went 4-of-9 from three-point distance and had a team-high four assists.

- Duke is 16-1 all-time at the Meadowlands (Continental Airlines Arena) including a perfect 10-0 mark in NCAA Tournament action. The Blue Devils have won nine straight games in the arena.

- Mike Krzyzewski improved to 729-246 overall and 655-187 at Duke with the win over Penn. Coach K is just one of nine coaches to win 650 or more games at one school.

- Duke is averaging 76.6 points per game with the senior class of Sean Dockery, Patrick Johnson, Lee Melchionni, J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams combining to average 59.3 ppg. or 77.4 percent of the Blue Devil offense.

The Devils Den Top Stories