Since losing to Maryland in March, Duke has won the ACC tournament and the NCAA championship before opening this season in stellar fashion.
It also hasn’t suffered another loss.
The top-ranked Blue Devils look to enact some revenge against the last team to defeat them when they host the Terrapins on Sunday night.
Duke (14-0, 1-0) has won 24 straight since falling to then-No. 22 Maryland 79-72 at the Comcast Center on March 3. The Blue Devils, ranked fourth at the time, struggled to contain then-senior Greivis Vasquez, who finished with 20 points and made a clutch basket with 37 seconds left.
Nolan Smith had 20 points and Kyle Singler added 14 for Duke, which had won the previous six in the series.
The Blue Devils hope to avenge that defeat at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where they’ve won 28 in a row. Duke, winner of seven of the last nine meetings with the Terps (10-4, 0-1) in Durham, has also won 50 straight home games against unranked opponents.
The Blue Devils opened ACC play with a 74-63 win over Miami last Sunday and are coming off an 85-64 victory over Alabama-Birmingham on Wednesday. Singler finished with 15 points and became the 11th player in Duke history to reach 2,000, but it was Smith who turned in a performance coach Mike Krzyzewski called “spectacular.”
The senior had 20 points at halftime and finished with a career-best 33 to go with seven rebounds and five assists. In his last five games, Smith has averaged 26.2 points and 61.6 percent shooting while hitting 12 of 19 from 3-point range.
“I think Nolan’s probably playing as well as anyone in the country right now,” Mike Krzyzewski said.
Terps coach Gary Williams might disagree.
Maryland forward Jordan Williams has notched eight straight double-doubles, averaging 18.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 59.0 percent shooting. Williams, who had 15 points and 11 boards in the last meeting with Duke, recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds in a 95-40 blowout of Colgate on Tuesday.
The Terps pulled away early with a 22-0 run, and want to come out with the same intensity against the Blue Devils.
“That’s really great for our team to start out that well, because we’re going to need that Sunday in Durham,” forward Jordan Williams said. “The No. 1 team in the country is not going to slack off at all.
“Going to Duke with a win is definitely huge for us. To come out and beat a team by 55 is not easy to do. It was a great test for our team, and we definitely passed the test.”
This will be Maryland’s first conference game since losing to Boston College 79-75 in its ACC opener Dec. 12. The Terps, who have the second-most wins over top-ranked teams with 10, haven’t opened 0-2 in league play since 2007-08.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Maryland with a trip to Wake Forest on Wednesday followed by a game at No. 7 Villanova on Saturday. This is the first time since the 1990-91 season the Terps play three consecutive road games.