#1 Duke vs.
#7 Georgia Tech, 1:30 p.m.
ACC Tourney results –
Duke: beat Virginia 58-47, Miami 77-74
Georgia Tech: beat North Carolina 62-58, Maryland 69-64, NC State 57-54
Regular season results –
Ga. Tech 71-67 at home on Jan. 9, Duke 86-67 at home on Feb. 4
Team records –
Georgia Tech 22-11 (10-9) Duke 28-5 (15-3)
Projected starters –
Georgia Tech (ACC Tourney stats)
G- Iman Shumpert (10 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.3 apg)
G- D’Andre Bell (6.3 ppg, 7-9 FG)
G- Glen Rice, Jr. (4.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
F- Derrick Favors (15.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg)
F- Gani Lawal (10.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg)
Duke (ACC Tourney stats)
G- Jon Scheyer (15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G- Nolan Smith (13.5 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg)
F- Kyle Singler (22.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3 apg)
F- Lance Thomas (3 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
F- Brian Zoubek (4.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
Team statistical comparison
Points per game
Rebounds per game
Free throw percentage
Field goal percentage
Points per possession
Turnovers per game
Point guard matchup- Jon Scheyer vs. Iman Shumpert
Scheyer has not been particularly outstanding in this tournament on paper, but in the semifinal win over Miami he was impressive with how selfless he was. A player of his caliber in a slump would often times try and shoot his way out of his cold streak (see: Malcolm Delaney), but Scheyer created opportunities for his teammates, and still ended up scoring 16 points.
Shumpert is another athletic defender to line up against Scheyer. He has emerged in Greensboro to give the Jackets a solid scoring presence on the perimeter, something they desperately need to advance in March. He has not shot the ball particularly well, but attacks the basket and could potentially get Scheyer in foul trouble.
Advantage - Duke
Shooting guard matchup- D’Andre Bell vs. Nolan Smith
Smith is arguably the best player in the ACC that nobody really talks about. He averages nearly 18 points per game, and although he isn’t phenomenally athletic, he is a solid all-around player; nothing about his game stands out above the rest. He has very few glaring weaknesses. His best strength is his ability to finish around the rim.
Bell is a turnover-prone guard that has a good mid-range game. He will provide a solid defensive presence against Smith, but he likely won’t be much of a factor on the offensive end.
Advantage – Duke
Small forward matchup- Kyle Singler vs. Glen Rice, Jr.
This is the biggest position mismatch in favor of the Blue Devils. Rice plays hard defensive, and is extremely long. However, he has trouble fighting through screens, due to inexperience and lack of strength. Singler makes a living coming off down screens and flare screens for spot-up jump shots. He has carried the Devils through to the finals in an otherwise sluggish weekend from the conference’s top seed.
Advantage – Duke
Power forward matchup- Lance Thomas vs. Derrick Favors
This is the biggest position mismatch in favor of the Yellow Jackets. Favors continues to impress during the ACC Tournament. Quite frankly, he has showed by his strong play this weekend that he underachieved for most of the season. He has as complete of a game for a small forward/power forward hybrid as a freshman since Carmelo Anthony.
The Blue Devils rely on Thomas for nothing more than rebounding, especially on the offensive glass. It will be interesting to see how he defends Favors, who is twice the athlete, and player for that matter, that Thomas is.
Expect Miles Plumlee to see a lot of minutes off the bench defending favors. This is not the type of game that suits Thomas very well.
Advantage- Georgia Tech
Center matchup- Brian Zoubek vs. Gani Lawal
Zoubek is the perfect fit in the Duke lineup. With Scheyer, Singler and Smith putting up a number of shots from the outside, Zoubek does a phenomenal job of cleaning up the offensive glass. He tends to get into foul trouble though, which spells trouble against the brutally physical Lawal. Lawal’s skill in the post are raw, but he uses his strength and toughness to earn most of his points.
Advantage- Georgia Tech
Bench matchup –
Duke uses three players off its bench – Miles and Mason Plumlee, and Andre Dawkins. The Plumlee brothers will be needed in this game, because Georgia Tech has the most physical frontcourt in the ACC. Zachary Peacock comes off the Jackets’ bench to spell Lawal and Favors.
Maurice “Mo” Miller is a handy reserve guard for the Jackets, and he will be relied upon by coach Paul Hewitt to provide steady ball handling against the aggressive Duke defense.
Advantage – Even
Even though they entered the tournament as the seventh seed, it’s not a surprise to see the Jackets making it to this game. They played the toughest in-conference schedule of anyone in the ACC, which is the main result of their 7-9 record. They played inconsistent at points in the year, but they are playing their best basketball of the year right now.
Favors has been unstoppable as of late, and he could carry them to a win in this game. Singler has been equally as spectacular. One of those two players will undoubtedly be named tournament MVP, depending on the outcome of the game tomorrow.
Scheyer and Smith have had disappointing tournaments. If their struggles continue tomorrow, the Jackets have enough firepower to knock them off.
Georgia Tech 72, Duke 69