MIAMI, FL, Sporting Alert — No. 5 Duke is among the Top 25 ranked teams in action on New Year’s Eve, as college basketball conference schedule takes center stage.
The Blue Devils (12-1) travels to Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg for a difficult Atlantic Coast Conference opener against Virginia Tech (11-1), which is 8-0 at home this season.
Duke enters the contest on a 10-game winning streak and ESPN’s Basketball Power Index has given the travellers an 84 percent chance to be Hokies, while the oddsmakers are backing the fifth-ranked side at 4.5 points.
Junior guard Grayson Allen is suspended and will not play for Duke, but with talents such as Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum, Amile Jefferson, Frank Jackson and Harry Giles, who is slowly being rotated into the lineup, the Blue Devils should be just fine.
Five Duke players are averaging in double-digit scoring this season.
Jackson is expected to start for Allen this weekend.
Zach LeDay is averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds for Virginia Tech, while Ahmed Hill is scoring 14.9 points.
Justin Robinson is scoring 11.3 points, while Seth Allen is at 10.9 and Chris Clarke is averaging 10.8 points and rebounding the ball 8.1 times per game.
Also in ACC play, No. 9 North Carolina (12-2) will take on Georgia Tech (8-4), while No. 6 Louisville meets No. 16 Indiana in the Countdown Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
BATTLE OF THE UNDEFEATED
In Big East play, two of the remaining undefeated teams this season, No. 1 Villanova and No. 10 Creighton will put their 100 percent records on the line.
The Wildcats (13-0) have a 65 percent chance to win versus the Bluejays (13-0), according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.
Creighton will be facing its second ranked team this season after beating then-No. 9 Wisconsin on Nov. 16.
College Basketball Top 25 and ESPN3 Schedule
Saturday, December 31
No. 17 Xavier at Georgetown 11:00 AM FS1
No. 5 Duke at Virginia Tech 12:00 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN
No. 9 North Carolina at Georgia Tech 12:00 PM ACCN, WatchESPN
SMU at East Carolina 12:00 PM ESPN3
The Citadel at Furman 12:00 PM ESPN3
Indiana State at Missouri State 12:00 PM ESPN3
South Carolina State at Jacksonville 12:00 PM ESPN3
North Georgia at Kennesaw State 12:00 PM ESPN3
No. 6 Louisville vs No. 16 Indiana 12:30 PM CBS
Mercer at Wofford 1:00 PM ESPN3
Rider at Monmouth 1:00 PM ESPN3
Marist at Iona 1:00 PM ESPN3
Western Illinois at IUPUI 1:00 PM ESPN3
Green Bay at Youngstown State 1:00 PM ESPN3
Florida Tech at Florida Gulf Coast 1:00 PM ESPN3
No. 1 Villanova at No. 10 Creighton 1:00 PM FS1
No. 24 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh 2:00 PM ACCN, WatchESPN
No. 20 Florida State at No. 12 Virginia 2:00 PM ESPNU, WatchESPN
VMI at East Tennessee St. 2:00 PM ESPN3
Chattanooga at Western Carolina 2:00 PM ESPN3
Samford at UNC Greensboro 2:00 PM ESPN3
South Dakota at South Dakota State 2:00 PM ESPN3
Northern Kentucky at Oakland 3:00 PM ESPN3
Milwaukee at Cleveland State 3:30 PM ESPN3
Wright State at Detroit Mercy 3:30 PM ESPN3
Houston Baptist at Stephen F. Austin 5:00 PM ESPN3
Colorado State at Boise State 6:00 PM ESPN3
Nevada at Fresno State 7:00 PM ESPN3
No. 7 Gonzaga at Pacific 8:00 PM ESPN3
San Diego at No. 19 Saint Mary’s 9:00 PM