Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Tech Hokies: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, VA, USA.

When: Tuesday, February 26th at 7pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): ESPN |

Duke Blue Devils (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski {Overall: 24-3, .889 W-L% | Conference: 12-2, T-1st in ACC}

The Blue Devils come to Blacksburg looking to build off of their comeback win in Syracuse on February 23rd. Freshman guard RJ Barrett led the team in scoring with 30 points, while sophomore guard Alex O’Connell dropped 20 points on 5-8 shooting from three in his first start of the season.

Cassell Coliseum has not been a friendly venue for Duke in recent years, as the Blue Devils have not won there since February of 2015, when the likes of Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones were in Durham.

Virginia Tech Hokies (Home)

Head Coach: Buzz Williams {Overall: 21-6, .778 W-L% | Conference: 10-5, 4th in ACC}

The Hokies return home after a brief visit to Notre Dame to host the Blue Devils. Buzz Williams’ team has struggled lately, losing 3 of their past 6 games with two of those losses coming against ranked opponents in Louisville and Virginia.

In their most recent game on February 23rd in South Bend, Indiana, the Hokies took down the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 67-59. Junior forward, Kerry Blackshear Jr. led the way with 22 points in an ugly contest that saw both teams shoot under 40% from the field.

Duke Roster Notes

Freshman forward Zion Williamson is questionable to return after suffering a knee sprain against North Carolina on February 20th. There are rumblings that Williamson could sit out the rest of the season to protect his NBA draft stock, although Coach Krzyzewski is insistent that Williamson will return to the team.

Virginia Tech Roster Notes

Senior forward Chris Clarke is suspended from the team and will not return.

Freshman forward Landers Nolley II is redshirting the season due to eligibility reasons.

Senior guard Justin Robinson has missed Virginia Tech’s last 7 games due to a foot injury suffered on January 30th against Miami. He is listed as out indefinitely.

Head-to-Head: Marques Bolden vs Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Marques Bolden

Center | 6-11, 250lb (211cm, 113kg) | Desoto HS | Desoto, TX | Junior

5.4 PPG | 0.5 APG | 4.7 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 1.9 BPG | 0.9 TOV | .582 FG% | .000 3P%

Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Power Forward | 6-10, 250lb (208cm, 113kg) | Maynard Evans HS | Orlando, FL | Junior

14.6 PPG | 2.1 APG | 7.2 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.9 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .534 FG% | .400 3P%

A matchup to look out for is between two third-year big men who have differing roles for their team. With these two players possibly guarding each other for most of the game, their contrasting playing styles could make them mismatches for each other.

Marques Bolden came to Duke in a star-studded recruiting class that features two current NBA players in Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, and Frank Jackson. After starting his freshman year on the injured list, Bolden struggled to get minutes having to compete with the likes of Giles, Marvin Bagley III, and Wendell Carter Jr. With the latter two in the NBA now, Bolden has carved out a niche as a rim protector for Duke, with his best performance coming on November 20th when he swatted 7 shots against Auburn.

Similar to Bolden, Kerry Blackshear Jr. has had injury struggles, as he missed the entire 2017 season due to multiple injuries. The son of a Spanish league basketball player has shouldered a bulk of the scoring load since Justin Robinson went down, with his best scoring output coming against Pittsburgh on February 16th where he dropped 29 points on 3-3 shooting from three and 10-11 shooting from the foul line. His big weakness, however, has been foul trouble where he leads the ACC in fouls committed.

Duke at Virginia Tech Predictions and Odds

Duke is a 4 point favourite on the road in Blacksburg according to oddsmakers. The over/under for the game is 146.5.