GameDay analysts break down Duke-UVA rematch

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The College GameDay bus has once again made its now-regular stop in Charlottesville this weekend. For the fourth time in the last five years, ESPN's pregame show will broadcast from John Paul Jones Arena, in the lead-up to No. 3 Virginia's game at home against No. 2 Duke.

Saturday's game will be the fourth all-time between UVA and the Blue Devils -- and second in three weeks -- when both teams are ranked in the top five of the Associated Press poll. According to the ACC, it's the league's first game featuring a pair of top-three teams since February 2008.

The Wahoos were ranked fourth when they visited top-ranked Duke last month. College GameDay was at Cameron Indoor Stadium for that game as well, which the Blue Devils won 72-70. The show's on-air personalities are looking forward to the rematch.

"It's two top-five teams playing against each other. And last time they played it was one of the highest-rated games we've had in years. And this will be the same," said analyst Jay Bilas. "It delivers every time. It's always a close game, and it's always a good battle. It's always a good contrast in styles. One team plays really fast; one team plays really slow."

"I enjoyed it because in a lot of ways, it's a chess match," said Seth Greenberg. "There were probably a dozen plays in that game that I looked at and said, 'All right. We've got to clean this up.' And I'm sure that's what Coach Bennett is doing right now."

In that game last month, UVA had a hard time controlling Duke's stud freshmen. RJ Barrett scored a game-high 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the floor. Zion Williamson finished with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including a few of his patented highlight-reel dunks.

"Sometimes you can be really good schematically. And if a guy has a gargantuan physical advantage, he can impose that will," GameDay host Rece Davis said of Williamson. "Doesn't mean he will every time, but he can."

"He's unique," said Bilas. "280 (pounds). Can move like a ballerina. Doesn't run people over. The way he can finish, it's crazy."

Duke is 20-2 overall on the season. The Cavaliers are 20-1. Both teams are part of a three-way tie with North Carolina atop the ACC standings at 8-1 in conference play. They're also a combined 9-0 since that first meeting in Durham.

The Blue Devils are coming off an 80-55 win at home against Boston College on Tuesday night, while UVA has been off for the past week. Greenberg thinks that break came at a good time for the Wahoos.

"To me, Virginia last week looked tired," he said. "They weren't as good with the ball. They turned it over at a higher percentage rate. They didn't cut at hard, they didn't screen as well. They've got to have good legs, and they've got a tough stretch coming up."

Duke will have freshman guard Tre Jones for Saturday night's game at JPJ. He missed the first meeting with UVA with a shoulder injury. On the other side, UVA is hopeful to have junior guard Ty Jerome back, after he missed last Saturday's win against Miami with a back injury.

Jerome had 14 points in Durham last month, but shot just 1-of-5 from beyond the 3-point line. UVA as a team shot a season-low 17.6 percent (3-of-17) on 3-pointers in that game -- the Cavaliers are making 39.4 percent of their 3-pointers for the season -- but still only lost that game by two. Duke's 72 points in that game were the most for a UVA opponent this season -- but also the Blue Devils' season low.

Greenberg believes UVA's typical gameplan can be the formula to win Saturday's rematch.

"Beating Duke's real simple," he said. "Take care of the basketball, keep them off the glass and set your defense. If they can do that, they're going to have a chance to win."



 
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