Over 50,000 fans are expected at the Carrier Dome on Saturday night as Duke and Syracuse square off. I cannot wait to call the game. The atmosphere will be electric. There is a big-time buzz surrounding this match-up. You will have so much passion and emotion in this contest.
Syracuse remained unbeaten with a 67-57 win at Wake Forest Wednesday. That was huge because the Demon Deacons entered with a 13-game home win streak. Jim Boeheim was concerned going into the game at Lawrence Joel Coliseum, but his squad played tremendous defense and got another W. Tyler Ennis has developed into one of the premier diaper dandies in America and he showed why against Wake. His 18 points were vital since the tandem of CJ Fair and Trevor Cooney was cold, combining to shoot six-of-23 from the field.
Duke is coming off a big-time win at Pittsburgh Monday. The Blue Devils were especially impressive in the second half, getting to the winner’s circle against a quality Panthers team. Duke put up 80 points and one key was Andre Dawkins. He was on fire over the final eight minutes, finishing with six-of-seven trifectas. Dawkins totaled 20 points in just 15 minutes overall.
Do you think that Syracuse will try to find him in that zone?
This will be a chess match between two of the top coaches in college basketball. Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim have combined for over 1900 wins and they have the ultimate respect for each other. They are very close; Coach K hired Boeheim to be his assistant for USA Basketball in winning the Olympics twice.
You know that Duke will be prepared with the extra few days. If it shoots the three-pointer like it did against Pittsburgh (13-of-25, 52 percent), watch out. While diaper dandy Ennis is a key for the Orange, the Blue Devils will expect big things from its freshman star, Jabari Parker. He had 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Panthers, and he is ready for the big stage.
The bottom line is Duke’s offensive firepower goes against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. Something has to give.