The No. 6 Duke Blue Devils (22-3, 12-2 ACC) travel to PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC, to battle the North Carolina State Wolfpack (16-9, 7-7 ACC) on Wednesday in an Atlantic Coast Conference tilt. Duke enters the night riding a seven-game winning streak, including three road wins, after dropping back-to-back conference contests in the middle of January.
The Wolfpack return home after a three-game conference road swing where it went 2-1 with victories over Miami and Syracuse and its lone loss at Boston College this past Sunday. This is the first match-up between the two schools this season. Duke is a 7.5-point road favorite in the contest.
What to Know – Duke
Duke enters Wednesday night coming off a 34-point blowout of Notre Dame (94-60) where the Blue Devils outscored the Fighting Irish (52-28) in the second half. The Blue Devils haven’t had a lot of success inside PNC Arena recently, dropping five of its last seven games.
Duke has a 147-101 edge in the all-time series against NC State, with coach Mike Krzyzewski holding a 55-24 advantage.
Four Blue Devils average in double figures, led by freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. (17.6 ppg). Guard Tre Jones (15.8 ppg) is Duke’s second-leading scorer, and the sophomore has averaged 17.8 points over the seven-game winning streak while also dishing 42 assists. While young, Duke is equipped with one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the country.
The Blue Devils feature both the nation’s third-highest scoring offense and scoring margin, pouring in 80.3 points per game and winning by an average margin of 17.2 ppg. Duke has had four players score in double figures 15 times this season. Freshman Cassius Stanley (12.3 ppg) is expected to be back in action after missing Saturday’s contest with an eye injury.
What to Know – North Carolina State
North Carolina State hasn’t beaten a ranked team in over two years, with its last victory coming on December 19, 2018, against Auburn 78-71. The Wolfpack carry an 11-3 record at home this season but have dropped its last two contests inside PNC Arena. Head coach Kevin Keatts is 61-33 in his third season, with a 1-1 record against Coach K and the Blue Devils.
The Wolfpack rely on a veteran stable of guards. Seniors C.J. Bryce (14.0 ppg) and Markell Johnson (12.6 ppg) lead the offensive charge for the host. Like the Blue Devils, the Wolfpack feature four players averaging in double digits. Redshirt junior Devon Daniels has been the team’s leading scorer over its last two games, including a double-double Sunday against Boston College.
Sitting at fifth in the conference standings, the Wolfpack have a lot of motivation entering Wednesday’s game. A bubble team sitting on the outside looking in, a victory over Duke would give the Wolfpack another quality win to its résumé. To have any opportunity to defeat the Blue Devils, NC State will need to limit its turnovers, which it has not done in its last two games.
The Pick is In
Looking at NC State’s schedule, the Wolfpack are without a marquee victory and a running out of opportunities for one. With a trip to Cameron Indoor still on the slate and a home showdown against Florida State on Saturday, we like the home team to keep this one close. Give us NC State +7.5.