A few days ago the showdown between Duke and Syracuse this Saturday looked like it could be for a potential No.1 ranking. But losses by both teams earlier this week has put a damper on that. Still, the College Basketball rankings do not come out until Monday and the chance for redemption is there for the taking. Perhaps the argument could be made that this game is now even more important because the loser would have lost twice in between the rankings.
First it was Syracuse that went down at home to Boston College Wednesday night. The Orange had been flirting with losses over the last several games. Prior to that it was a one-point win over N.C. State, a two-point miracle win over Pittsburgh, and a three-point win over Clemson. So it isn’t exactly as if Syracuse was dominating opponents. The potential for losses was there.
It was finally Boston College that took down the Orange in OT 62-59. But the loss came at home which is certainly concerning. Syracuse is heading on the road to Duke, which is one of the most difficult places to play in the country.
The Blue Devils just lost on the road Thursday night to archrival North Carolina. It was an unranked Tar Heels team no less. The loss puts Duke in a bind, as they are trying to set up for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.
This betting line will be very close, and when it is released on Saturday at Bovada Sportsbook expect Duke to be the favorites at home. These two played a great game earlier this season in Syracuse. The Orange came away with a 91-89 victory in overtime. You have to think that the Blue Devils are ready. But it will be tough to respond after the loss to North Carolina.
Syracuse fell into a tie atop the ACC with Virginia, and will play the Cavaliers in a couple of games on March 1.
The Orange still control their own destiny for the ACC regular season title and a No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
At 10-4 in the conference, Duke’s chances to win the ACC are very slim. But they still have a chance if some things fall their way. The loss to North Carolina really hurt the Blue Devils position in the conference at three games behind now.