#12 Duke vs #14 Virginia - Picks Of The Day, Feb 15th

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 7:39 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 7:39 PM UTC

Losers of 3 out of their last 5 games, the Virginia Cavaliers have really lost some tight games at the wrong time. Tonight, they must face a Duke Blue Devils team which has won 5 straight game as Coach Mike Krzyzewski has taken back his rightful place as head coach of the Blue Devils. Can the Cavaliers compete with Duke?

  #12 Duke vs #14 Virginia Coach K = Victories

Normally, it's the players on the court that produce the victories or losses. In Duke's case, they're a potent team when Coach K is able to coach. Evidence of this occurred when Krzyzewski missed an entire season over 2 decades ago and Duke went .500. During this season, Jeff Capel took over for Coach K as the 70 year old legendary coach needed surgery and Duke almost fell out of the AP Top 25. Coach K then returned after issuing disciplinary measures to the team and they're playing the best basketball that they've played all season long.

During their 5 game winning streak, Duke has quality wins over Notre Dame and North Carolina. Now, they'll face the best defense in the country in Virginia. That said, Duke has caught the Cavs at an opportune time.

Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard

In order for Duke to be at their best they're going to need junior guard Grayson Allen to regain his composure and offensive touch. This has been a disastrous season for Allen, who was thought to be one of the best players in the nation.

Allen is averaging 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while shooting a dismal 40% from the field. For most of the season, Allen had lost his confidence and his composure on the court, but lately, he's played much better.

In 4 out of his last 5 games, he's managed 19 or more points per game. Duke is still looking for the guy that shot the lights out last season, averaging 21.6 points per game. In the meanwhile, Luke Kennard has picked up the slack, averaging 20 points per game while shooting nearly 46% from 3-point land. 

For Duke to be successful, they need this capable combination to play up to their potential while senior Amille Jefferson controls the boards. Lately, Jefferson has been in a slump and Duke has still been able to win, but this won't last.

Defense = Wins for Virginia

For Virginia, they live and die with their defense as this is a team that averages just 69 points per game with senior London Perrantes leading the way. In his last 2 games, Perrantes has stepped it up a notch averaging 20 points per game. That said, the Cavaliers need to keep this a low scoring game as they have no chance of matching Duke offensively.

Free NCAAB Pick: Duke Blue Devils +5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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