This Saturday will be the first in a long time without a football game. This weekend’s playoff football is saved up for an explosive Sunday. In place of football we shall feast on a full slate of college basketball action.
The Defending NCAA Basketball Champion Duke Blue Devils travel to North Carolina State to face the Wolfpack in hopes of ending a 3 game losing streak on Saturday, Jan. 23. The game takes place at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tip-off is at 2:00 pm EST on CBS.
What: No. 20 Duke Blue Devils (14-5) at NC State Wolfpack (11-8)
When: Saturday, January 23, 2016
Kickoff: 2:00 PM ET
Where: Raleigh, North Carolina
Stadium: PNC Arena
Spread: Duke -6
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Duke vs NC State
Bet The #20 Duke Blue Devils Because…
After 3 straight losses, you have to figure that Duke will turn it around on Saturday. The Blue Devils dropped a 63 to 68 road game to Clemson on Jan. 13. On Jan. 16, Notre Dame upset Duke 95 to 91 in a Blue Devil home game. In their last, versus Syracuse, the Blue Devils lost 62 to 64. Duke isn’t a very deep team. The loss to Syracuse occurred on Jan. 18. That gives the Dookies 4 days of rest. Expect a recharged Duke team to hit the floor against the Wolfpack on Jan. 23.
Bet The North Carolina State Wolfpack Because…
Guard Anthony Barber can take over the game against the Blue Devils. Barber has been as impressive as any player in the ACC this season. He’s averaging 22.3 points, 4.9 boards and 4.8 assists per game. In North Carolina State’s last, a terrific 78 to 61 Wolfpack road win over Pittsburgh, Barber scored 31 points, dished 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds. The last time NC State faced Duke, the Blue Devils shut Barber down. He didn’t score a point. Don’t expect that to happen on Saturday.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Anthony Barber hasn’t forgotten how Duke’s pressure defense held him to 0 points in 25 minutes. Duke destroyed North Carolina State 77 to 55 in that game last March.
But that Duke team has absolutely no resemblance to this Duke team. Justise Winslow, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook combined for 43 of Duke’s 77 points. All 4 of those guys no longer play for the Blue Devils. Without Winslow’s, Jones’s and Cook’s defense on Barber, expect NC State’s best player to go off. Barber hasn’t scored less than 16 points in any home game this season. He should get close to 30 in this matchup. NC State adds to the Dookies’ misery.
My final score prediction is NC State 76, Duke 70.