Duke basketball continues march to NCAA Tournament with pivotal game

Duke basketball
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Duke basketball gears up for its NCAA Tournament run with a pivotal matchup against Louisville. 

The recent four-game winning streak for the Duke basketball team has been a jumping pad to a potential NCAA Tournament berth, but that streak will be put to the test on Sunday night against the Louisville Cardinals.

Following their blowout victory over Syracuse on Monday night, the Blue Devils have been preparing for a brutal stretch to close the season, with two of the last three games away from Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Louisville will be playing its third game coming off a pause forced by COVID-19. The Cardinals got their doors blown off against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first game, losing 99-54, and then responded with a victory over Notre Dame, 69-57.

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Sophomore guard David Johnson is expected to play against the Blue Devils after sitting out of the win over the Fighting Irish due to a non-COVID illness.

The Cardinals defeated the Blue Devils in January, 75-70, but Duke will be without one player who started in that game, Jalen Johnson.

Johnson only logged 21 minutes and scored nine points while committing six turnovers and four fouls.

Matthew Hurt and DJ Steward led the way for the Blue Devils in their loss, combining for 37 points and were the only two players to reach double figures.

Duke basketball must rely on veterans to get a much-needed victory

In the winning streak, it’s been the Matthew Hurt show for Duke, and that has to continue on Saturday for another Blue Devil victory.

Senior point guard Jordan Goldwire could be playing in his last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and the defensive stalwart will be looking to shut down his opponent, whether it be Johnson or Carlik Jones.

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Jeremy Roach and DJ Steward must continue their improved play while Mark Williams has yet another chance to showcase his growth and development on the season.

Another win pushes Duke closer to an NCAA Tournament berth with a crucial road trip upcoming to close the regular season.

Tipoff is slated for 6:00pm EST (ESPN) inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

PREDICTION: Duke 78, Louisville 70

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