Wake Forest looks like an NCAA Tournament but needs quality wins to back it up. Can they get one on the road at Duke?
TV schedule: Monday, February 12, 7:00 pm ET. ESPN
Arena: Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina
When looking at ACC Bracketology, there are a couple of teams that look to be safely in the field, including the Duke Blue Devils. (18-5, 9-3 ACC). After losing to rival UNC the weekend prior, the Blue Devils have since won the last two games, beating Notre Dame and Boston College. In the 80-65 win over the Eagles, all five starters were in double figures, led by 17 points and seven rebounds from Mark Mitchell.
Duke represents one of the last big opportunities for the bubble teams in the ACC to get a big signature win. That includes Monday's opponent, Wake Forest (16-7, 8-4 ACC). The Demon Deacons are currently on a 3-game win streak to move to fourth place in the conference standings.
The latest result was an 83-79 home win over NC State, led by 33 points and six rebounds from Hunter Sallis. The other four starters had at least nine points, including Andrew Carr with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. On the season, Wake Forest has four players averaging at least 14 ppg, led by the guard duo of Sallis (18.5 ppg) and Kevin Miller (16.3 ppg and 3.9 apg).
What makes this such an important game for Wake Forest is that they don't have a Quad 1 victory on the season. And even though they're on the bubble, it's going to be nearly impossible for them to get an at-large bid without beating Duke or UNC at some point.
The good news is that they have at least three more opportunities, starting on Monday. The bad news is that with the game being at Duke, it's going to be very difficult. Look for this one to be a high-scoring battle but in the end, look for the Blue Devils to continue rolling.
Prediction: Duke 83, Wake Forest 74