Duke vs Pittsburgh: 2020-21 key storylines for ACC matchup

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ACC Basketball

Pittsburgh Panthers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The first matchup of the season between Duke and Pittsburgh was supposed to happen in late December in Durham. However, covid issues with the Panthers forced that game to be postponed. And neither team has played much since then, with the Panthers having just two games and the Blue Devils three.

The last time Duke (5-3, 3-1) was on the court, it was in a loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Freshman guard Jeremy Roach had a season-high 22 points while sophomore forward Matthew Hurt had 20 points and 11 rebounds. But they trailed for most of the game to the Hokies and gave up 50% shooting from the field. While Virginia Tech has looked impressive so far, it was still viewed as an upset of sorts for the Blue Devils.

Pittsburgh (7-2, 3-1) most recently played on Saturday against rival Syracuse. It was a close matchup in the first 25 minutes before the Panthers dominated offensively, scoring a whopping 64 points in the second half overall to win 96-76. Four starters for the team scored at least 18 points to give Pittsburgh the season sweep over the Orange.

Coming into this season, this game wouldn’t have looked very appealing on paper. Duke was a preseason top-10 team with Final Four aspirations, while Pittsburgh was supposed to be lucky to even get out of the bottom-four of the ACC. Yet now, this has become a matchup with legitimate consequences and storylines to watch for.

Hopefully, this game won’t get canceled on us. If it doesn’t check out these three specific storylines to consider before the matchup on Tuesday, both on and off the floor.

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