NC State Wolfpack vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick & Prediction MARCH 4th 2024

No. 10 Duke has one more stop before a showdown against North Carolina that could allow the Blue Devils to secure a chance to win the Atlantic Coast Conference’s regular season.

It won’t necessarily be easy, however, for Duke when it travels to face nearby North Carolina State on Monday night at Raleigh, N.C.

Duke (23-6, 14-4 ACC) convincingly won two home games in the past week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much ahead of the next game.

The Wolfpack had a big upset victory last season at home against the Blue Devils, winning 84-60.

“We remember what happened last year and we’ve got to keep that in our mind, and we’re going to make that a statement this year for sure,” Duke sophomore center Kyle Filipowski said. “Just remembering how it went last year, we don’t want to be embarrassed like that again, so we’re going to do whatever we can to not make it that way.”

The Blue Devils ripped visiting Virginia 73-48 on Saturday night in an outing that left Duke players feeling good.

“That’s probably one of the best ones we’ve had, just that killer instinct,” Duke senior guard Jeremy Roach said.

NC State (17-12, 9-9) has lost three of its past four games. Each of the setbacks has come by a single-digit margin.

The Wolfpack were unable to protect a 10-point lead early in the second half in Saturday’s 79-70 loss at No. 9 North Carolina. NC State was outscored 42-25 in the half.

“Just keep fighting,” coach Kevin Keatts said. “We did some good things. We just have to figure out how to build on it.”

NC State was hurt by 22.2 percent shooting in the second half against the Tar Heels. That included a 0-for-15 stretch.

“I don’t think we ever got rattled,” Keatts said. “I thought we started missing shots.”

A bright spot overall for the Wolfpack’s shooting was Jayden Taylor’s 5-for-7 performance from beyond the 3-point mark. He was coming off a season-high 24 points in the previous game against Florida State, so his offense might be rounding into form. He has a season-high five-game streak of double-figure point outings.

The Wolfpack are 0-3 against ranked teams this season. Getting two Top 10 foes back-to-back isn’t ideal for the Wolfpack.

“We might be the only team in America to ever play Carolina on Saturday and Duke on Monday without it being a tournament situation,” Keatts said.

After Saturday’s game in Chapel Hill, Keatts took notice of Duke’s big early lead on Virginia.

“I need Virginia to come back and this game to go into triple overtime,” he said.

That didn’t happen. Instead, Duke was able to rest many of its starters for stretches in the second half. Coach Jon Scheyer of the Blue Devils said he’s proud of how the team has responded to stay near the top of the ACC standings.

“They’ve blocked out a lot of noise through the whole year,” Scheyer said. “They’ve just focused on what we have to do, and I think we’ve really gotten better from it.”

This is the only scheduled meeting of the season between the Blue Devils and Wolfpack.

–Field Level Media

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