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Okay, we see you Duke. After being listed as a -4 point favorite at Miami on Wednesday, the Blue Devils won their first true road game of the year topping the Hurricanes by 21. Their schedule doesn't get any easier with Florida State, followed by two road games at Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Even with Duke at home, this game isn't going to be a walkover. The Seminoles play feisty defense and can compete with most teams. They also beat Miami (FL) on the road, but also at Clemson by 15, something Duke couldn't do. With FSU a current bubble team for March Madness, this is the type of game that could keep them in. Easier said than done.
Seemingly, Duke has figured things out over the last two games, winning by large margins. While their offense has always been good, it's the Blue Devils defense that has stepped up in recent games. That's not exactly a good thing for opponents because this is a team that can score on anyone (excluding their 59 points at Clemson).
The Blue Devils have had trouble with big men all year and this game may be no different. FSU boasts the 7-3 Boris Bojanovsky down low that could create some problems, although he lacks a true attacking mentality. Okaro White (12.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG) at 6-9 may present more of an issue. The Seminoles don't have a stand out player like Duke, but they do have four guys that pose as a threat to defenses. Ian Miller leads the way with 13.3 PPG, but his 2.9 turnovers per game don't help. As a team, FSU turns it over 15 times per game, that's five more than Duke.
Aaron Thomas, Montay Brandon and Devon Bookert are also guys you need to keep an eye on that can beat you. Bookert has found his shot lately going 11-of-15 from long range over the past four games. To keep this game close, someone will have to get hot for the Seminoles.
Jabari Parker is obviously the main guy to watch out for on Duke, but he has been taking fewer shots in recent games. It would be ideal if he could match last game's output of 17 points and 15 boards every night. Quinn Cook and Rodney Hood are the other players that can beat you in a multitude of ways, but more importantly, you can't give them open looks from the outside. Both of them can hit shots with ease and if they get going, it won't be good for FSU. Amile Jefferson will get the task of defending White and possibly Bojanovsky down low.
A big advantage for the Blue Devils will be Rasheed Sulaimon coming off the bench. In recent games, he's been able to provide an immediate spark and will be a problem against a rather small squad.
The Blue Devils dominated the Seminoles on the road last year in this matchup and it was the guards that did most of the damage, which isn't a good sign for the Seminoles.
Florida State will try and pound the ball down low early and get Bojanovsky involved as much as possible, but in the end, if they can't hit their outside shots, Duke should have no problems winning this one.
Our Model's Predicted Score - Duke 78 Florida State 69
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