Duke Basketball will be facing the Georgetown Hoyas in the finals of the 2K Empire Classic. What are the keys for the Blue Devils to win the matchup?
When the matchups were announced for the 2019 2K Empire Classic, it was pretty clear that Duke Basketball was the clear favorite to win. The first few games of the season didn’t change any minds, with the Blue Devils rising to No. 1 in the country after a 4-0 start.
It grew to 5-0 last night, thanks to a convincing 87-52 win over the California Bears. It was a blowout as expected, as the rebuilding Pac-12 program had no chance against the top team in the country. Vernon Carey was unstoppable, going for 31 points and 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes played. Wendel Moore chipped in with an all-around performance of 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. It also was the first time that Duke as a team made 10 three-pointers in a game this season.
It was no surprise that Duke Basketball was going to advance to the finals of the Empire Classic but there was intrigue regarding their opponent. It was viewed as a toss-up battle between Texas and Georgetown and it felt that way for nearly 30 minutes. But a big run by the Hoyas in the second half broke the game open, allowing them to make the finals with an 82-66 win.
It sets up an interesting matchup between Duke and Georgetown. The Blue Devils hope to be the first No. 1 team to not lose in a week, while the Hoyas has a chance at a marquee signature win for their NCAA Tournament resume. The Big East squad is the underdog in this game but has the pieces to at least make it close towards the end.
Here are some pivotal keys for the Blue Devils to avoid the upset.