This one comes with extra fanfare, even by Duke standards. It will be Mike Krzyzewski's 1,000th game as coach of the Blue Devils, and a major reunion of players is part of the event.
"For that one day, let's try to beat Maryland and remember those 30 years," Krzyzewski said. "A myriad of things will go through your mind and for me they'll all be good things."
Duke is coming off Wednesday night's 64-54 victory at North Carolina. With Maryland next on the schedule, it means the Blue Devils face their two permanent schedule partners (in the ACC basketball set-up) in back-to-back games.
For many teams, meeting fierce rivals in consecutive games might be a dangerous thing. But for Duke, which tends to gain every opponents' attention, it's less likely to be a shock to the system.
Maryland hasn't played since Sunday because of a midweek weather-related postponement of its game against Virginia. So for Duke, it will mark the third weekend game in a row when its opponent has at least two more preparation days than it will have.
DUKE 64, NORTH CAROLINA 54: Duke converted in late-game possessions to pull away in the final seven minutes for only its second victory in the past eight meetings with North Carolina. It also gave the Blue Devils their third consecutive road victory in ACC play. Jon Scheyer scored 24 points, while teammates Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler had 10 points apiece in the second half.
--F Lance Thomas left the game against North Carolina with a knee injury early in the second half. He has been repeatedly identified, by coach Mike Krzyzewski, as one of the team's most consistent players throughout the season. Krzyzewski said initial evaluations of the injury didn't appear to be ligament-related.
--Duke's 15-for-26 free throw shooting at Boston College was troubling for a team that began the week shooting an ACC-best 77.4 percent on foul shots. The outing against Boston College would have been worse if not for G Jon Scheyer making all six of his attempts.
--G Jon Scheyer and G Nolan Smith each played 40 minutes against Boston College in a road game that came about 41 hours after a home victory against Georgia Tech. "You can't think about how many minutes you played," Smith said. "Can't care if you're banged up, you just have to continue to play."
ON THE SPOT: Duke sometimes looks like it's content on waiting for senior guard Jon Scheyer to make plays. He has been pretty good at doing so, particularly by hitting key jumpers against North Carolina. But the Blue Devils might be cautioned on becoming too dependent on Scheyer, who has major ball-handling duties and took a team-high 20 shots against North Carolina. The trio of Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler accounted for 52 of the team's 69 field-goal attempts, so working more players into the flow of offense might be necessary in some games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We wouldn't (have this record) unless we've played very, very well. We're not going to define ourselves by four games. We're going to define ourselves by our full body of work." -- Coach Mike Krzyzewski, on facing scrutiny because of four losses. The Blue Devils have won 20 games.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
SEASON RECAP: The Blue Devils have another 20-win season and, despite a few dips, have established themselves as front runners in the ACC. They showed grit in turning back Boston College about 41 hours after winning a rematch with Georgia Tech. They've already swept league opponents Clemson and Boston College, and have a win at rival North Carolina.
- Georgetown 89, Duke 77
- Duke 86, Georgia Tech 67
- Duke 66, Boston College 63
- Duke 64, North Carolina 54
- vs. Maryland, Saturday, Feb. 13
- at Miami, Wednesday, Feb. 17
- vs. Virginia Tech, Sunday, Feb. 21
- vs. Tulsa, Thursday, Feb. 25
IN FOCUS: Duke faces two fierce rivals in back-to-back games with North Carolina and Maryland. With the win over the Tar Heels already in pocket, the game with Maryland will have direct implications on first place as they're the top two teams in the league.
--G Andre Dawkins played 10 minutes as the Blue Devils went with a smaller lineup at times against North Carolina. Dawkins had played less than one minute combined in the two previous games, so his playing time might have come as a surprise. He didn't score.
--F Mason Plumlee played twice as much as his brother Miles (27 minutes to 13 minutes) in the victory at North Carolina. Mason Plumlee is a reserve, although he continues to increase his role on the team, sharing game-high honors with nine rebounds.