Duke (22-9, 8-8 ACC), ranked 21st in both the AP poll and ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, faces unranked N.C. State (15-14, 5-11 ACC) on Thursday at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. in the first round of the 2007 ACC Tournament. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. with ESPN2 televising the contest.
DUKE PROJECTED STARTERS:
F- 21 DeMarcus Nelson
F- 14 David McClure
C- 02 Josh McRoberts
G- 03 Greg Paulus
G- 30 Jon Scheyer
Greg Paulus - Paulus has been on fire lately, as he has scored 20+ points in each of his last two games and has reached double-figures in scoring in 10 straight games and 14 of the last 15 contests.
DUKE GAME NOTES Duke has won seven of the last eight ACC Tournament Championships including last year's title. Overall, Duke has posted an 80-37 record (.684) in the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils have won six straight ACC Tournament games and 23 of their last 24 ACC Tournament contests.
Duke has won 16 tournament titles, the highest championship total in the league. Duke's conference tournament titles came in 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
The Blue Devils enter this year's tournament as the seventh seed, their lowest seed since earning the ninth seed in the 1995 ACC Tournament. Duke topped N.C. State, 83-70, in the play-in game that year. Duke is 0-3 all-time when entering the tournament as the seventh seed.
Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils are 42-15 in the ACC Tournament. With 10 tournament titles at Duke, Coach K is one of 12 coaches in ACC history with two or more league championships.
Duke leads the all-time series with N.C. State, 132-95, including a 14-8 mark in the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils have won 20 of the last 22 meetings between the two schools, including a 79-56 victory at the RBC Center earlier this season.
The Blue Devils are 8-2 in ACC Tournament action against N.C. State under Krzyzewski, including wins in the 2002 and 2003 championship games.
Including Thursday's contest, Duke and N.C. State have met in six of the past nine ACC Tournaments. The Blue Devils have won the previous five meetings during this stretch by an average of 14.8 points per game.
Duke enters the ACC Tournament ranked 14th in the Ratings Percentage Index. The Blue Devils also have the third toughest strength of schedule according to CollegeRPI.com. Duke is 5-6 on the year against teams rated in the top 30 of the RPI and 9-9 against the top 50.
Greg Paulus has scored 20+ points in each of the last two games and has reached double-figures in scoring in 10 straight games and in 14 of the last 15 contests. Over the last 10 games, Paulus is averaging a team-high 16.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. During that stretch, he is shooting 47.5 percent (56-of-118) from the field, including 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from three-point distance. On the year, he is shooting a team-high 45.6 percent (62-of-136) from three-point distance and ranks fifth in the ACC in three-point field goals (2.00 pg.).
Freshman Gerald Henderson will miss Thursday's game with N.C. State after being charged with a flagrant foul and being ejected at the end of Sunday's game with North Carolina. Because of the game officials' ruling, Henderson will serve an automatic one-game suspension.
Greg Paulus, Josh McRoberts
DeMarcus Nelson, Jon Scheyer
Dave McClure, Gerald Henderson