Miami at Duke
Published on Friday, 3/1/13, at 5:42 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
**Miami at Duke**
–The Cameron Crazies will undoubtedly be in rare form Saturday night when Duke (24-4 straight up, 15-13 against the spread) seeks to avenge an embarrassing loss at Miami from earlier this season. The Blue Devils will also be in bounce-back mode after going down Thursday night in Charlottesville.
–Virginia stayed perfect at home by beating Duke 73-68 as a one-point home favorite. In defeat, Seth Curry and Quinn Cook both drained four 3-pointers apiece and finished with 28 and 22 points, respectively.
–When these schools met in Coral Gables on Jan. 23, Miami ran Duke out of the gym early and often en route to a 90-63 win as a 2.5-point home underdog. The 153 combined points soared ‘over’ the 133.5-point total. Duran Scott was sensational with 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Kenny Kadji finished with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor. Mason Plumlee had 15 points and 11 boards in the losing effort.
–Miami (23-4 SU, 16-7-1 ATS) has already locked up a share of its first ACC regular-season title and can clinch the outright championship with a win in this spot. The Hurricanes, who are 14-1 against ACC foes, are coming off Wednesday’s 76-58 win over Va. Tech as 16-point home ‘chalk.’ Shane Larkin enjoyed another stellar performance, scoring 22 points while dishing out six assists compared to only one turnover. Larking made 8-of-12 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from deep. Kadji finished with 20 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
–Larkin is on his way to earning first-team All-ACC honors. The sophomore guard, who is the son of MLB great Barry Larkin, is averaging 13.4 points per game and has a 117/59 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Scott and Kadji are averaging 13.1 and 13.0 PPG, respectively, for UM’s balanced offensive attack.
–Duke is undefeated in 14 home games with a 7-7 spread record. The Blue Devils have been single-digit home favorite just once, failing to cover the number in a 73-68 win over Ohio St. as 5.5-point favorites back on Nov. 28.
–Duke is No. 1 in the RPI Rankings thanks to a 4-1 record against the RPI Top 25, an 8-2 ledger against the RPI Top 50 and a 12-4 mark against the RPI Top 100. The Blue Devils’ profile includes wins over the likes of Minnesota, Louisville, VCU, Kentucky and Temple.
–Miami is third in the RPI Rankings, going 4-1 against the RPI Top 25, 6-1 versus RPI Top 50 opponents and 13-2 against RPI Top 100 foes.
–Miami has been a road underdog twice, winning outright at North Carolina (68-59) and at UMass (75-62). In four underdog situations, the ‘Canes are 3-1 both SU and ATS with their loss coming to Arizona on a neutral court.
–The ‘over’ has cashed at an incredibly lucrative 11-1 clip in the last 12 head-to-head meetings between these ACC adversaries. In the last nine Miami-Duke encounters, the ‘Canes own a 6-1-2 spread record.
–The ‘under’ is 14-7-1 overall for UM, 7-4 in its 11 road assignments.
–The ‘over’ is 15-12 overall for Duke, but the ‘under’ is 7-6 in its home games with a total. Regardless of venue, the ‘over’ is on a 9-4 run in the Blue Devils’ last 13 games.
–ESPN will have the telecast at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
–Georgia is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games going into Saturday’s home game vs. Tennessee at Stegeman Coliseum. The Volunteers have won six in a row both SU and ATS. Most books opened Tennessee as a 1.5-point road favorite.
–With the Gators back at full strength for just the eighth game this season, most spots opened them as 17-point favorites Saturday vs. Alabama. ESPN will have television coverage at noon Eastern.
–Florida 2013 signee Chris Walker led Holmes County High School (in FL.) to a win over West Gadsden County in Wednesday’s state title game. Walker, a six-foot-10-inch center, averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in the state semifinals in Lakeland. The future Gator beat up on a former Gator’s team, as West Gadsden is coached by Andrew Moten, who led UF to its first NCAA Tournament bid (and the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual runner-up Syracuse in the Meadowlands) in 1987.
–St. John’s has suspended D’Angelo Harrison for the rest of the season. Harrison was averaging 17.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
–Creighton is mired in a 1-8 ATS slide. The Bluejays host Wichita St. on Saturday. Most spots opened Creighton as a five-point home favorite. The Shockers have been underdogs twice this year, winning outright both times (at VCU and at Illinois St.).
–Auburn head coach Tony Barbee is a goner.