Clemson represents Duke's first ACC Tourney test

Malcolm Fuller
March 9, 2017

Day 2 of the ACC Tournament is here, and just like that Clemson's task at hand increases dramatically from the stroll the Tigers enjoyed Tuesday.

The Orange (and the Hurricanes) are all but locked in the NCAA tournament. "If you ask anybody in the gym who was at Thursday's game, "How do they feel?" they would say, "I feel different than I did Thursday". "A lot depends on their draw". "They're a great team". Obviously, we missed the layup there, I think that was going to cut it - I don't know if it was going to cut it to one or two - and that changed the whole game. The Tigers would then whip the ball to the corner where the help defender came from for an opportunistic catch-and-shoot three-pointer; this is what good floor balance will do for an offense.

OUR PREDICTION: The Tigers are 4-9-2 against the spread in their last 15 games when taking on an opponent with a winning record and are 2-8-2 at the betting window in their last 12 games versus an opponent with a winning percentage above.600.

The good news for the Blue Devils is that good guard play is essential to beating this Louisville team. You can't really guard them with multiple people very often because the next guy's going to make an open three, and because you have to guard the three-point shot against Duke, it puts you in one-on-one scenarios, and your guys have to be able to guard their guys.

In singles, the Orange had momentum early, with Irish junior Allison Miller falling in a 6-1, 6-2 decision at the No. 3 spot. Duke is No 14 in the RPI and No. 15, according to KenPom.com, a sports analysis website. In truth, the Irish will end up with a spot in March Madness due to their 23-8 season mark, though each victory they pick up against their ACC brethren will help with their ultimate seeding. There will be plenty of action before they get involved though. It's hard to tell them apart, if you look at their resume, it's hard to tell them apart from Virginia.

"I like their team". Freshmen Bruce Brown, Dewan Huell and DJ Vasiljevic have become invaluable contributors. They defend pretty well.

MoneyLine Betting Tip for Rivals Duke vs. North Carolina on Saturday
The Tar Heels shot 45 percent in a win over Pittsburgh before hitting just 37 percent at Virginia. Both are having superb seasons and in the discussion for ACC Player of the Year.

On Wednesday, UM meets the same Orange it lost to 70-55 on the road January 4.

The conference began its northern expansion in 2005 when it added Boston College, the third of three schools it lured away from the Big East, along with Miami and Virginia Tech. John Gillon had ten assists and the team shot better than 50% from the field again.

Allen was limited to 12 minutes in the Clemson game, also his fewest since the Gonzaga game, when Allen was a little-used freshman still awaiting his breakthrough game.

The Hokies (21-9) face the victor of Tuesday's first-round game between Boston College and Wake Forest, meaning their Wednesday second-round game, with a 7 p.m. tipoff, could be a rematch with the team that spoiled senior day for Tech's Seth Allen and Zach LeDay.

Five players are averaging at least 10.4 points per game for Duke, they are: Kennard (20.1), Tatum (16.0), Allen (14.5), Amile Jefferson (11.2) and Frank Jackson (10.4) per game.

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