The Duke Blue Devils moved to 6-2 in the ACC despite a lackluster showing from Marshall Plumlee, downing Florida State 79 to 60 in Tallahassee.The Blue Devils have lost to the Seminoles in each of the past two seasons, so this year’s win was likely a bit of a relief.
Both teams were playing without key pieces. Duke suffered their first two losses of the season with senior forward Ryan Kelly on the bench with an injury, and the Seminoles have struggled to rebound the ball without 6’8″ junior Terrance Shannon, who injured his neck at Virginia.
Seth Curry took the lead for Duke, scoring 21 points on the strength of a 7-11 shooting day. Quinn Cook had the best all-around game with 18 points, 5 boards and 6 assists, and freshman teammates Rasheed Sulaimon (14 points) and Amile Jefferson (11) chipped in double-figure days as well. Mason Plumlee, ordinarily a double-double man, had just eight points and five rebounds, but blocked three FSU shots in limited action.
Florida State has struggled to score inside all season long, but this game left plenty of blame to go around. Preseason favorite Michael Snaer scored just seven points on the day and endured a 3-13 shooting performance but didn’t get much help from his fellow upperclassmen. Freshman Aaron Thomas poured in 14 to lead all ‘Noles scorers, and fellow first-year Devon Bookert totaled nine points in 24 minutes of play.
Until two weeks ago, Duke looked like a juggernaut rolling toward the ACC title, but losses to N.C. State and No. 25 Miami have left the Hurricanes in the driver’s seat instead. In that context, an ACC road win, even over an obviously discombobulated team like the Seminoles, has real value. The Blue Devils will host No. 19 N.C. State on Thursday, in hopes of staying one step ahead of 5-2 Virginia, who play at Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: