Duke basketball: 3 keys to defeating Syracuse for a third time

Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team battles the Syracuse Orange for a third time this season. 

Thursday afternoon will be the third installment of the Duke basketball rivalry with the Syracuse Orange as the two programs meet in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

The Blue Devils dominated the first two matchups against the Orange, winning by a combined 45 points.

Duke’s most recent victory over Syracuse came on February 26 when Mike Krzyzewski’s team dominated things from the opening tipoff in the Carrier Dome to win, 97-72. The Blue Devils led by as many as 30 points in the game.

ALSO READ: Duke will not face ACC leading scorer in tournament

Syracuse was dealt a brutal blow on Wednesday night as it was announced that senior guard Buddy Boeheim would be suspended for one game after punching Florida State guard Wyatt Wilkes in the stomach in Syracuse’s demolition of the Seminoles.

The play was not called a foul on the court.

A win for Duke would mean Krzyzewski could clinch the first losing record in the Hall of Fame career of his friend Jim Boeheim.

Duke basketball looking for easy path to championship

The headline is a bit misleading as there are no “easy” paths to a championship game in a conference tournament, but the Blue Devils could face the path of least resistance.

A Syracuse team without the ACC’s leading scorer Buddy Boeheim awaits on Thursday, and then Duke could see No. 13 seed Boston College in the semifinals on Friday night if the Eagles were to upset No. 4 Miami on Thursday afternoon.

ALSO READ: Duke has first ACC Tournament opponent confirmed

Boston College took down No. 5 Wake Forest in overtime on Wednesday.

The Blue Devils fell against the Hurricanes in their only matchup of the regular season but dominated Boston College in their only matchup of the year.