Duke ready to get back to work against Notre Dame after deserved break

Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team will be back on the floor on Saturday afternoon following a deserved break after two incredible victories by the Blue Devils.

No team in the country deserved a couple of days off like the Duke Blue Devils.

After a grueling three-day stretch which included a comeback road victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels last Saturday and a home win over No. 8 Florida State on Monday night, the Blue Devils will be right back on the floor to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Durham on Saturday afternoon.

Notre Dame has been playing much better basketball of late, despite its four-game winning streak being snapped on Tuesday night on the road against the Virginia Cavaliers, 50-49 in overtime.

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Saturday will be the last game of a three-game road trip for the Irish as the first came in a victory over the Clemson Tigers.

However, Mike Brey‘s team is 4-3 in its last seven games, but all three of those losses have come by a combined four points.

The biggest matchup to watch on Saturday will be in the post as two ACC Player of the Year candidates will matchup for the first and potentially only time this season in Vernon Carey Jr. and John Mooney.

The Irish’s senior is averaging 16.3 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.7 steals per game on 44.8 percent shooting from the field and 30.3 percent from 3-point range.

On the other side, Duke’s freshman is averaging 17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game on 58.3 percent shooting from the floor and 38.5 percent from 3-point range.

The Blue Devils will also have to defend the plethora of Notre Dame guards that can hurt Duke from the perimeter in TJ Gibbs, Prentiss HubbDane Goodwin, and Rex Pflueger, who combined to average 42.3 points per game.

As a team, Notre Dame shoots 42.6 percent from the floor, 35.1 percent from 3-point range, and 70.0 percent from the free throw line.

Duke and Notre Dame will tipoff at 4:00pm EST inside Cameron Indoor Stadium as fans can watch the game on ESPN.

PREDICTION: Duke 88, Notre Dame 71