No. 17 Duke showed signs of life last time out in a thrilling come-from-behind victory and looks to build off that when it travels to 12th-ranked Notre Dame on Monday for an important ACC clash. The Blue Devils had lost three of four and trailed by 10 points with four minutes to play at Wake Forest on Saturday before sophomore Luke Kennard led the way back for an 85-83 triumph.
“As a team, we’ve just got to keep going,” Duke’s junior guard Grayson Allen, who had 19 points, told reporters. “We’re a group of talented guys and we’re good, but we’ve got to come together and be a good team. It’s having that belief, and I think we showed that belief.” Kennard finished with 34 points, making all six of his 3-point attempts, and will need another big night against a Notre Dame team that will be determined after losing three of the last four. The Fighting Irish received 23 points, including the 1,000th of his career, from V.J. Beachem before Georgia Tech scored at the buzzer for a 62-60 win on Saturday. “We usually make plays down the stretch,” Beachem told reporters after the setback. “(Saturday) the other team made them.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: This game opened as a Pick ‘Em and by Monday morning the spread had moved in the direction of the Irish at -1. The line then jumped the fence over to Duke -1.5 by Monday afternoon. The total hit the betting board at 154.5 and dropped to 153. Check out the complete line history here.
Blue Devils – F Chase Jeter (Questionable, back), F Sean Obi (Out For Season, knee).
Fighting Irish – No injuries to report.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Blue Devils (-13.6) – Fighting Irish (-14) + home court (-3) = Fighting Irish -3.4
ABOUT DUKE (16-5 SU, 8-12 ATS, 9-11 O/U): Kennard’s 34 points was one shy of his career high and pushed his team-leading average to 20.4, while he is draining 54.4 percent from the field – including 16-of-23 the last two games. Allen hit 6-of-11 from 3-point range on Saturday after making just five of his 24 attempts the previous five contests and is third on the team in scoring (15.3) behind freshman forward Jayson Tatum (15.8). Senior forward Amile Jefferson (12.2 points) leads the way in rebounding (9.5) and is connecting on 62 percent from the field, which leads the conference.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (17-5 SU, 10-5-1 ATS, 9-7 O/U): Beachem, a senior forward, has produced two of his best performances of the season in the last three games – sandwiching a three-point effort in a loss to Virginia on Tuesday. Beachem (14.5 points) also scored a career-high 30 in the win over Syracuse on Jan. 21 and is one of four players averaging at least 14 points – a feat the Irish last accomplished for an entire season in 2001-02. Forward Bonzie Colson leads the team in scoring (15.5) and tops the ACC in rebounding (10.6) while guards Steve Vasturia (14.5 points) and Matt Farrell (14.0) also contribute.
* Blue Devils are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 vs. Atlantic Coast.
* Fighting Irish are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
* Over is 9-1 in Blue Devils last 10 vs. Atlantic Coast.
* Blue Devils are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 61 percent of the picks on Covers are siding with the home team Fighting Irish and, at the publication time of this preview, the total was not available for selection on Covers. View full consensus data here.