No. 1 Duke to play for first championship of 2019-20 against Georgetown

Duke basketball (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Duke Basketball team will have a chance to play for its first championship of the 2019-20 season against the Georgetown Hoyas on Friday night in Madison Square Garden.

No. 1 Duke thoroughly dominated the California Golden Bears on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, winning 87-52, which set up a date between the Blue Devils and the Georgetown Hoyas.

The Hoyas had to exert more energy than the Blue Devils as Georgetown defeated No. 22 Texas 82-66, but Patrick Ewing‘s team trailed by five at halftime and looked like a completely different team after halftime.

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Georgetown can present some matchup problems for the Blue Devils starting with its leading scorer and rebounder Omer Yurtseven.

Yurtseven didn’t have to use much of his energy on Thursday night as the North Carolina State transfer only played 13 minutes due to foul trouble. The 7-footer is averaging 17.2 points and 12.0 rebounds per game and going up against a freshman in Vernon Carey Jr. will be a major matchup to keep an eye on.

Carey Jr. has been playing his best basketball of the season with his third straight double-double as the Florida native posted 31 points and 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes.

Sophomore guard Mac McClung is as infectious of a player as there is in the country and it was in part due to his energy the Hoyas were able to make the comeback and defat the Longhorns.

The way in which Duke defends the Georgetown guards will be interesting as the Blue Devils have proven to have one of the best defenses in the country this season and the Hoyas are coming off arguably their best half to the season, scoring the 45 points in the second half against Texas.

In its five games this season, Georgetown has trailed at halftime in four of them, the lone game the Hoyas took a lead into the intermission was in a win over Central Arkansas on November 9.

Hot. Predicted scores for every Duke basketball game this season. light

Friday night between the Blue Devils and the Hoyas will come down to which defense is the best as both offenses were potent on Thursday night.

Georgetown shot 50.9% from the field and 45.5% from 3-point range while Duke shot 41.5% from the floor and 37.0% from 3-point range, after starting the game 2-of-13 from the floor and 1-of-7 from 3-point territory.

The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils will look to remain perfect in what should be a raucous Madison Square Garden crown facing the Georgetown Hoyas in the Championship Game of the 2K Empire Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project with tipoff approximately scheduled for 7:30pm EST on ESPN2.

PREDICTION: Duke 71, Georgetown 64