Duke basketball ready for statement in front of record crowd in Syracuse

Duke basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team is in Syracuse, New York for Saturday’s anticipated matchup between the two ACC foes as the Blue Devils will be looking for a road statement.

Saturday night two ACC foes will meet in the Carrier Dome as the Syracuse Orange host the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils.

Duke is coming off of a win that was too close for comfort at home against Pittsburgh while Syracuse saw its five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Clemson Tigers on the road.

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The Orange have crept back on the NCAA Tournament bubble with its recent winning streak and grabbing a signature win over Duke would do wonders for Syracuse in its hopes of reaching the Big Dance.

A major storyline entering the game for the Blue Devils is the health and availability of Wendell Moore.

Moore has not played since January 4 after breaking a bone in his hand over the Miami Hurricanes and after having surgery, took place in pregame warmups against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, despite remaining sidelined with the injury.

The freshman from North Carolina would be the perfect weapon to utilize in the middle of the Syracuse zone, but if Moore is still unable to play, Duke could try Jordan Goldwire in the middle of the zone to try and work the ball down low to Vernon Carey Jr.

Tre Jones will run the offense while Matthew Hurt and Cassius Stanley roam the perimeter looking for their shots.

Syracuse even presents a matchup in which Jordan Goldwire might not be a great fit into the offensive game-plan due to his lack of a mid-range game despite his recent promising stretch from 3-point range.

While the Duke bench has struggled in recent games, Joey Baker or Alex O’Connell may provide the Blue Devils with the best offensive arsenal to come away with a victory.

All in all, Syracuse doesn’t have anyone to match up with Vernon Carey Jr. and if Duke is able to penetrate the Orange zone the big man could have a monster game.

The Blue Devils and the Orange will tipoff at 8:00pm EST from the Carrier Dome and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN.

PREDICTION: Duke 77, Syracuse 64