Virginia-Duke Preview

The Associated Press

Duke had plenty of trouble against one of the nation's top defensive teams this past weekend, and it will have to face another to start this week.

At least it gets to face Virginia at home.

The 23rd-ranked Blue Devils seek a 16th straight win over the Cavaliers at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday night.

Duke (12-4, 1-2 ACC) was limited to its fewest points this season and had its worst shooting performance (33.9 percent) in a 72-59 loss at Clemson on Saturday.

"We're not a good team right now," said coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose team fell seven spots in the Top 25. "We're a small team and we need to make up for it in other ways. We're not some powerhouse."

The Blue Devils have lost their last two road games while getting off to their worst start in conference play since 2006-07. They haven't begun 1-3 or worse in the ACC since dropping their first four games in 1995-96.

Despite its road struggles, Duke has won 25 in a row at home, but extending that run could be difficult against Virginia (12-4, 3-0). The Cavaliers are giving up 55.2 points per game on 36.9 percent shooting, just behind Clemson's average of 53.9 points allowed on 35.9 percent shooting.

They held North Carolina State to 28.9 percent and its fewest points in a game in eight seasons in a 76-45 road victory Saturday. Virginia never trailed after opening that game on a 21-4 run, and it held the ACC's leading scorer, T.J. Warren (22.2 points per game), to four points on 1-of-9 shooting.

"This is the time of year where teams either improve or stay the same and get left behind," coach Tony Bennett said. "In the last three games, we have improved. I like what I'm seeing."

The Cavaliers will seek their first 4-0 record in the ACC and first win at Duke since the 1994-95 season. A 91-88 double-overtime victory in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 14, 1995, finished off that 4-0 start and helped Virginia finish in a four-way tie atop the conference.

Virginia has lost in its last 15 visits to Cameron Indoor Stadium but suffered only a three-point defeat, 61-58, in its most recent trip on Jan. 12, 2012. The Cavaliers won 73-68 over the then-No. 3 Blue Devils in last season's only meeting on Feb. 28 to snap an eight-game skid in the series.

Joe Harris, averaging a team-best 10.7 points, scored a career-high 36 in that victory - Virginia's second in 19 matchups. Akil Mitchell had 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Quinn Cook scored 22 points for Duke, which shot 39.6 percent to Virginia's 46.2. Cook, though, is coming off an eight-point game on 3-of-14 shooting at Clemson.

Rodney Hood had a team-best 20 points Saturday and is averaging 24.7 in the last three games - 6.1 better than his season average. Star freshman Jabari Parker, meanwhile, still hasn't fully emerged from his slump.

Parker scored 15 points Saturday, his most in four games, but is averaging 11.5 points on 33.3 percent shooting during that stretch. In his first 12 collegiate contests, he put up 22.2 points per game on 53.9 percent shooting.

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