Wake Forest (8-8, 1-3) heads to Durham to take on the No. 7 ranked Duke Blue Devils (14-2, 2-2) today at noon. The game will air on the ACC Network/Watch ESPN.
The Demon Deacons are looking to snap a 17 game losing streak to Duke in Durham, and also a 6 game losing streak overall to the Devils.
Wake has not defeated a ranked team on the road since an 82-69 victory over North Carolina in 2008-09.
Duke excels on the offensive side of the court while struggling defensively. The Blue Devils are the best team in the nation offensively according to KenPom, but rank 94th on defense.
After winning every single non-conference game the Blue Devils have stumbled to a 2-2 start in conference play, dropping a game to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, as well as a road game to N.C. State last weekend.
Freshman Marvin Bagley leads the way for Duke, averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds so far this season. He is shooting 67% from 2’s this year while attempting 167 shots. His 14.9% offensive rebounding rate ranks 27th in the nation, while his 23.6% defensive rebounding rate ranks 87th in the nation.
Wake is trying to get off of a two game slide, and has lost four of its past five games, including road games to North Carolina and Boston College.
This game has a “first to 100” type feel to it, with both teams struggling immensely on the defensive end of things. For Wake Forest to have a chance in this one it will have to make a high percentage of threes, get an otherworldly performance out of Doral Moore on both sides of the court, and likely have some divine intervention as well.
KenPom has Duke winning this one 93-76, and I think it will be higher scoring than that indicates.
My personal expectation is that the Deacs keep it closer than most people think for the first 25-30 minutes, but Duke inevitably emerges over the full 40 minutes as the best team en route to a 15-20 point victory.