Sporting Alert – Duke will take on No. 19 Louisville in one of the two AP top 25 games on the schedule for Monday.
No. 1 Oklahoma and Texas will play in the other top 25 fixture on Monday.
DUKE LOOK TO BUILD MOMENTUM AGAIN
The Blue Devils (17-6, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) head into the matchup with the Cardinals (19-4, 8-2 ACC) on a two-game winning streak, and they will be hoping to keep the momentum going in the closing part of the regular season.
Louisville, in the meantime, is looking to stay focus after a troublesome last few days where it was announced that the university imposed a postseason ban on the program for recruiting violations.
It is understood that several players were left baffled by the shocking decision made by the school since there is no guarantee the NCAA will accept Louisville’s in-house punishment.
If the NCAA decides to hand out further discipline on the programs, this would mean the current group of players could be making a needless sacrifice.
This is why the team leading contributors and graduate transfers Damion Lee and Trey Lewis felt let down — believing they are being punished unjustly.
“We don’t deserve this,” said Lewis, who transferred from Cleveland State last spring. “This team doesn’t deserve this.
“We worked very hard and we put ourselves in a position to fulfill our dreams, and that was to play in the NCAA tournament, and we feel like that’s been taken away from both of us.”
Like Duke, Louisville comes into this game winning the last two games, while sitting atop of the ACC standings.
Last time out for the Cardinals, Lewis scored 16 points and Deng Adel added 13 in a 79-47 win over Boston College 79-47 on Saturday.
Lee leads Louisville this season in scoring with 17 points per game.
He had 24 points and five rebounds last Monday in the 71-65 win over No. 2 North Carolina, but miss the win over Boston College due to a bruised knee.
He could return for Monday’s difficult trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils, in the meantime, held off North Carolina State 88-80 on Saturday as well, with Grayson Allen (28 pts) and Luke Kennard (26 pts) combining to score 54 points in the win.
Allen, who is averaging 20.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, sits second in the ACC in scoring this season.
Freshman Brandon Ingram (16.9 PPG) is also in the top 10 in scoring in the league, at seventh.
In their only matchup last season, Duke came away with a 63-52 victory over Louisville on the road. The Cardinals will be making their first trip to Duke since 1983.
OKLAHOMA LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK
After shockingly falling to Kansas State, 80-69 on the road over the weekend, Oklahoma will try to keep a study head going into the battle with an in-form Texas side at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.
The Sooners (19-3, 7-3 Big 12) had their four-game winning streak snapped by the Wildcats, who outscored the travelers in both halves.
National Player of the Year front-runner Buddy Hield scored 23 points for Oklahoma in the defeat.
Meanwhile, the Longhorns (16-7, 7-3 Big 12) have won four straight games entering this matchup and will be hoping for a fifth win that would move them further up in the Big 12 standings.