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Duke and Florida State will go toe-to-toe on Saturday in the only ranked-on-ranked tilt between ACC opponents. The Blue Devils, ranked fourth in the polls, have enjoyed a 10-day playoff after an impressive 12-1 run through non-league play. Similarly, Florida State was impressive in non-conference play with an 11-1 record that included an impressive win over cross-state foe Florida. But Saturday marks the first of a grueling three-game stretch for the Seminoles against the league’s best, starting with Duke, followed by North Carolina and Miami.
In their second game of the ACC season the Duke Blue Devils take on the 11-1 Florida State Seminoles. Leonard Hamilton has his Seminole squad playing excellent basketball thus far this season, their only loss being a 71-70 loss to Oklahoma State back in the Orange Bowl Classic. Mitchell Solomon scored on a tip-in with 6 seconds left and then took a game-clinching charge at the other end of the court to hand Florida State their first defeat.
The Seminoles are currently riding a 2 game winning streak and last time out they hit 19 3’s in rout of Southern Miss (98-45). This game at Duke begins a tough stretch for Hamilton and Florida State with UNC coming into Tallahassee on January 3rd and then having to travel to take on the Hurricanes on the 7th. Terance Mann leads the Seminoles in scoring at 15.1 points a game, he also pulls down 6 rebounds and dishes 3 assists per contest as a 6’6 guard.
Duke comes in having beaten Evansville handily in their last outing. Before that the Blue Devils lost their conference opening to a hot shooting Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum. Although it is odd to have an out of conference game sandwiched between two ACC opponents it may have been exactly what Duke needed to shake off the BC hangover.
Duke is still lead in scoring by freshman Marvin Bagley who is at 21 points a game, Bagley is also leading the team in boards at 10.9 a game. The entire starting 5 for the Devils average in double figures with Grayson Allen coming in behind Bagley at 17.1 points and 4.3 assists a game. Allen is hitting on 45% of his 3 point shots so far this year.