Duke looks to keep its very slim ACC regular-season title hopes alive and boost its case for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win over Virginia Tech on Tuesday in the Blue Devils’ final home game of the season.
Duke enters off a 79-76 win over Miami on Saturday, although the Hurricanes still hold a two-game lead for the ACC lead. Senior Ryan Kelly scored a career-high 36 points in his return from a foot injury that had sidelined him since January to lead Duke. Kelly knocked down 10-of-14 shots — including 7-of-9 3-pointers — for the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-4 ACC), who avenged a blowout road loss in January by grinding out a tough win in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He also went 9 for 12 from the foul line and pulled down seven rebounds in 32 minutes. Kelly’s season-high was 22 points and his career-best was 23 points before Saturday. He had missed 13 straight games with the right foot injury.
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Duke shot 44.8 percent on shots attempted from at least 15 feet Saturday, after shooting 14.3 percent on such attempts in its loss at Miami on Jan. 23. Kelly made eight shots from 15 or more feet Saturday, double the amount the entire Duke team made in its first game against Miami. Kelly became one of 11 players to score at least 35 points in a win over a Top-5 team over the last 15 seasons.
Virginia Tech (13-16, 4-12) enters off a 69-61 loss to Clemson. Erick Green scored 29 points in his final home game to lead the Hokies. Green, who came into the game as the nation’s leading scorer at 24.9 points per game, hit 8 of 12 from the floor, including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. He also hit 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. Virginia Tech which had lost 10 of its past 11 games, led by as many as 15 in the second half. Virginia Tech shot 54.8 percent (23 of 42) from the floor — its best performance in an ACC game this season.
These teams met Feb. 21 in Blacksburg, with the Blue Devils winning 88-56. Seth Curry scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half as opened a 20-point lead and never was in danger. Curry finished 6 for 14 from the field but missed only once in six tries from behind the arc. Duke shot 53.6 percent for the game (30 of 56) and was 12 for 17 on 3-pointers (70.6 percent). Tech’s Green was 8 of 14 for 22 points. The Hokies shot just 43 percent and made only 1 of 16 3-point attempts.
Vegassportsbetting.com trends: Hokies are 1-4-2 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games. Hokies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Duke. Road team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.