basketball-men-d1 flag

Bob Sutton | Times News | February 8, 2019

College basketball: No. 2 Duke avoids trap before face off with No. 3 Virginia

Inside the Duke vs. Virginia duel for ACC supremacy

DURHAM, N.C. -- Before Saturday night's big game at Virginia, Duke was nearly duped.

That's the way it seemed for the second-ranked Blue Devils as they made their way through what became an 80-55 victory against Boston College.

"Coming into this game, everybody was saying this was like a trap game," Duke forward Zion Williamson said. "Every game means the same. If we lose to Boston College, it'll go as a loss. If we lose to Virginia, it'll go as a loss. If we win, it's a win. So you have to take every game the same."

DUKE'S FEBRUARY SLATE:  Tracking Duke's grueling February schedule | Virginia, Duke prediction

But with the Atlantic Coast Conference showdown with No. 3 Virginia looming, it had to be hammered into the Blue Devils (20-2 overall, 8-1 ACC) that the Boston College game was key as well.

"Ever since we beat St. John's (on Saturday), everything you see on ESPN is our game against Virginia," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Nothing was said about this game on all the shows and everything.

"That's the world these guys live in. I told them, 'Look, you've got to play this game.' ... Again, we're a young team so we can fall prey to that. Thank goodness we didn't for 40 minutes."

Duke's 52-point second half marked its most production in a half in a conference game this season. Duke has trailed at halftime in its last two ACC home games, including Tuesday night.

"People tell you we're going to win (the game against Boston College)," Williamson said. "Virginia is coming and that's what people want to talk about."

ZION VS. RJ:  Who's the more impactful Duke basketball freshman? | Zion dunk tracker

Freshman forward Cam Reddish said: "We knew we had to bring it. Every game counts, especially in the ACC."

Virginia (20-1, 8-1) didn't play earlier this week, so the Cavaliers will have had a week layoff before this rematch with Duke, which won 72-70 on Jan. 19 at home. 

This article is written by Bob Sutton from Times-News, Burlington, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

College basketball rankings: Kentucky, Duke lead AP Top 25

Kentucky is the new No. 1 after taking down Michigan State last week. Duke moved up to No. 2 in the latest AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll.
READ MORE

College basketball rankings: Andy Katz's Power 36 after the first week of the season

After a memorable Champions Classic and opening week in men's college basketball Andy Katz reveals his latest Power 36 rankings.
READ MORE

Kentucky beats No. 1 Michigan State; Duke escapes Kansas in 2019 Champions Classic

Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State are back for the 2019 Champions Classic. Follow along for live updates of both games right here.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners