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#1 Duke vs. #4 Wake Forest

Key Release

1/2 unit Wake Forest +2 over Duke

In perhaps the biggest college basketball game of the year so far, Coach Kís newly crowned #1 team in the country Duke Blue Devils will take on the former #1 team in the country Wake Forest in an ACC battle of the best in one of the toughest conferences in college basketball this season.

The Demon Deacons were flying high and coasting through their season until they met up with a very motivated and unranked Virginia Tech squad determined to do the impossible and knock off the #1 ranked Wake Forest team lead by Jeff Teague.

Even though the Deacons had been playing phenomenal basketball up to this point they just couldnít hold off a Virginia Tech team on a mission as they lost their first game of the season 78-71.

The Blue Devils on the other hand have gotten back to championship form while flying somewhat under the radar this season. It is no real surprise to most college basketball fans, Blue Devils faithful especially, that Coach K and forward Kyle Singler have been able to lead Duke to yet another #1 ranking, but they will be facing their biggest test Wednesday going up against a defense that rivals their own.

Duke may be the ACC leader in scoring defense by holding their opponents to only 59.5 points per contest, but the Deacons defense has been just as impressive holding their opponents to just 39.8% shooting from the floor this season which is best in the league. Not only is Wake Forest one of the best defensive teams in the ACC and the country by forcing teams to shot a low percentage, but on the offensive end of the floor they also have the second best shooting percentage in the country just behind Utah State by shooting a very impressive 50.5% from the floor.

A big factor for Wake Forest coming out on top in this ACC battle and getting closer to retaining the #1 spot in the country will be whether or not they can contain Duke forward Gerald Henderson who has been huge in the Blue Devils current 10 game win streak. With his average of 18 points a game over the last 10 wins for Duke, Henderson has stepped up his game and has played a pivotal role in Dukeís run to the #1 ranking in the Top 25.

As for Duke and their point guard Nolan Smith, they will have their work cut out for them trying to contain Wake Forestís leading scorer Jeff Teague who is putting 21+ points a night this season. If Nolan and Blue Devils defense arenít able to stop Teague from having a monster game it just might cost Duke the game and position in the ACC.

This will not be a high scoring affair by any means as both of these teams are defensive minded and will be looking to prove they are the true number one team in the country. Although Duke is favored by two points, I would have to go with Wake Forest pulling off the slight upset as they have probably corrected their costly mistakes made in the embarrassing loss against Virginia Tech and are looking for some redemptions and who better to prove it against than the team that took your number one ranking. 1/2 unit Wake Forest +2

 

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