Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) - The first place picture in the Atlantic
Coast Conference will get a little clearer tonight as the fifth-ranked Duke
Blue Devils head to the Donald L. Tucker Center to square off with the 15th-
ranked Florida State Seminoles in what will send one team into third place and
keep the other tied for the top spot in the league standings.
This will be the second encounter between Duke and the Seminoles this season
and the 38th meeting in history. Although the Blue Devils hold a 30-7 lead in
the all-time series, Florida State has all the momentum after its dramatic
76-73 victory in their last battle, which took place on Jan. 21st last month
at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Michael Snaer made national headlines in the first
bout by hitting a game-winning three-pointer as time expired to snap Duke's
64-game home winning streak against unranked opponents. Since the incident,
Florida State has gained a little respect and pushed its way into the top
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils won their fourth in a row on Sunday as they
bested the Boston College Eagles 75-50 in Chestnut Hill. The victory made Duke
23-4 overall and 10-2 in ACC play. They are tied with Florida State and are
just a half game behind North Carolina (11-2). The Blue Devils put together a
superb rebounding effort against Boston College, as they won the battle of the
boards 45-21 to push towards the lopsided victory. Duke has one of the best
offenses in the nation, as it is netting 79.5 ppg while allowing opponents to
average 68.6 ppg.
Duke has one of the most dynamic backcourts in the nation as Seth Curry and
Austin Rivers are virtually impossible to contain. With Rivers's ability to
penetrate and finish and Curry's lights out three-point shooting, the Blue
Devils kill opponents with stellar guard play. The duo combined to score 34
points in the recent win over Boston College. Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee
provide frontcourt balance for Duke. Plumlee is near a double-double average
as he is scoring 11.2 points and grabbing 9.7 boards per game.
Leonard Hamilton has to be a serious COY candidate after leading FSU to a 19-7
overall record. The Seminoles kept pace in the ACC race by defeating NC State
76-62 to improve to 10-2 in league action on Saturday. FSU shot 49.1 percent
from the floor and converted 18-of-21 from the charity stripe to past the
Wolfpack, while holding NC State to a paltry 29.3 percent shooting in the
contest. The Seminoles have been great on both ends of the floor all season as
they are netting 70.0 ppg while limiting opponents to 60.8 ppg.
The Seminoles are led by Snaer, the man who buried Duke earlier this season.
The junior shooting guard leads the team with 13.5 ppg, and has since hit
another game-winning shot as he hit a go-ahead three-pointer with seconds
remaining to give FSU a 48-47 victory over Virginia Tech on Feb. 16th. Bernard
James, Okara White, and Bernard Gibson all play vital roles for FSU as well.
James is grabbing 8.2 boards per game. Deividas Dulkys, although quiet as of
late, can be dangerous as he showed earlier this season with a 32-point outing
on a remarkable 12-of-14 shooting performance against North Carolina.
The Sports Network