Duke vs. FSU Prediction, Game Preview

    Duke vs. FSU prediction and game preview. The Blue Devils look to avoid a third straight loss, while the Seminoles seek to extend their win streak to three.

    February 28, 2017

    Duke vs. FSU prediction and game preview. The Blue Devils look to avoid a third straight loss, while the Seminoles seek to extend their win streak to three.

    Duke vs. FSU Game Preview

    When: Tuesday, Feb. 28 – 7 p.m. ET
    Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
    TV Broadcast: ESPN

    Mike Krzyzewski’s No. 17 Blue Devils (22-7, 10-6 ACC) are coming off of a road loss to Miami, which was the second defeat in a row for the squad. Playing without star guard Grayson Allen, the Blue Devils were held 32 points below their season average in a 55-50 loss on Saturday. Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard each scored 16 points in the setback, which came after the team fell on a last-second 3-pointer at Syracuse last Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, Leonard Hamilton and the No. 15 Seminoles (23-6, 11-5) are coming off of a 76-74 win at Clemson, which trailed for most of the game but took the lead later before ultimately falling short on Saturday. FSU entered the game just 2-5 on the road in league play, including losses in its past two such games, at Notre Dame and at Pittsburgh. So it was a confidence-booster for the ‘Noles, who have been much more successful at home.

    These teams met back in January in Tallahassee, and FSU was able to wear down Duke with its size and depth. Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half in an 88-72 win, which was FSU’s school-record 12th straight victory.

    Duke Wins If …

    … The Blue Devils have a healthy roster intact for a game against a deep squad. Krzyzewski said that he does not know whether the injured Allen or Amile Jefferson will play against the ‘Noles. While both did practice on Sunday, their availability will be a game-time decision, according to Coach K. Allen missed the loss at Miami with an injured left ankle, while Jefferson has been playing through lingering discomfort after missing two games in January with a bruised bone in his right foot.

    Allen is the third-leading scorer on the team, averaging 15 points, while Jefferson averages a team-best 8.5 rebounds. It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for Allen, but he is still a key cog to this team. The absence of either player will further give FSU a depth advantage. However, Jackson played very well when pressed into an expanded role against Miami. And he’ll have the luxury of playing at home, so Krzyzewski will look for similar output if Allen is out.

    FSU Wins If …

    … The Seminoles get strong play from their reserves. In the meeting back in January, FSU’s reserves outscored their Duke counterparts, 21-4. The ‘Noles will also try to win the battle in the paint once again, though it will be more difficult if Jefferson is healthy and effective. The Blue Devils forward was sidelined in the first meeting, and the ‘Noles took advantage of it and enjoyed a 56-28 scoring advantage inside.

    It would also help if Dwayne Bacon reverts back to his normal self. He made just three shots in the close win over Clemson, as the team’s leading scorer was kept beneath his season average of 16.8 points. It was the fifth straight game in which Bacon has shot 40 percent or worse from the field, so the shooting struggle has been real lately for the FSU star.

    Matchup To Watch

    Jayson Tatum vs. Jonathan Isaac

    Tatum and Isaac have been two of the more exciting players to watch during the ACC season, and both have a chance to make a big impact in this one. Tatum scored a career-high 28 points and connected on six 3-pointers in a recent win at Virginia, and he has been able to give the Blue Devils both a post and perimeter presence. If Allen is out or limited in any way, Tatum most be one of the best players on the court. Meanwhile, Isaac can also score in a variety of ways and can score in bunches. Both freshmen are having standout campaigns and are still very raw. Both can be X-Factors any time they step onto the court.

    Duke vs. FSU Betting Odds

    Spread: No spread as of post
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Duke vs. FSU Prediction

    It’s obviously unclear if the Blue Devils will be playing with a full deck. The feeling is that at least one of Allen or Jefferson (if not both) will go, and it’s a good sign that both did partake in recent practice. Kennard, Tatum, Jackson and the rest of the other pieces will somehow do just enough to squeeze out a victory against a dangerous ‘Noles squad to break the current skid on Senior Night.

    Duke vs. FSU final score prediction: Duke 73, Florida State 69

    MORE: College Basketball Power Rankings – Week 17


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