Game 24: Duke basketball versus Virginia
The Duke Blue Devils will host the Virginia Cavaliers, who rank No. 25 to start the year, on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN) in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Cavaliers will likely rely on backcourt weapons, particularly their two returning perimeter starters in senior point guard Kihei Clark and sophomore shooting guard Reece Beekman.
But the concerns about a lack of depth and firepower in the paint are probably responsible for Virginia coming in behind Duke, Florida State, and UNC, respectively, in the 2021-22 ACC Preseason Poll.
That said, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see 6-foot-6, 245-pound power forward Jayden Gardner make an impact for Virginia right away after transferring from East Carolina, where he averaged 18.0 points and 8.7 rebounds across three seasons. Still, the Blue Devils should have the advantage over the Cavaliers, at least in this first of two scheduled meetings.
Predicted final score: Duke 74, Virginia 64
The Blue Devils improve to 20-4 overall (10-3 ACC) on the season