LAS VEGAS, Sporting Alert – No. 5 Duke stays on the road this weekend to take on UNLV at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.
ESPN will televise the game and WatchESPN will stream it live at 5:15 PM ET. Jason Benetti and Dick Vitale will be calling the action on TV. ESPN Radio 1100 AM/100.9 FM will be streaming it live as well. Watch Live | Blue Devil IMG Sports Network | Live Audio | Live Stats
The battle will be the first college basketball contest at the venue, and will be the first meeting between the two programs since the NCAA Final Four semi-final clash in Indianapolis, in 1991.
Duke won that clash 79-77 on its way to beating Kansas in the national championship game.
A year earlier, the Rebels captured the school’s lone national title by beating Duke 103-73.
Duke Starting To Get Healthy Now
The Blue Devils (9-1) have won seven straight and are coming off an impressive 84-74 victory over No. 21 Florida in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
UNLV (5-3) is coming off a 97-73 defeat against Arizona State on Saturday night.
Against the Gators, Luke Kennard (29 points), Amile Jefferson (24) and Jayson Tatum (22) combined for 75 points with the rest of the team contributing nine in the win for Duke.
Lottery pick Harry Giles is yet to make his debut, but with fellow freshmen Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden returning to the lineup last week, it’s only a matter of time before coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team gets completely healthy.
“They can be great, but it’s going to take some time,” former Duke points guard and current NBA champion with the Cavs, Kyrie Irving, who watched Tuesday night’s win over Florida from courtside, said.
“They still aren’t fully back yet. Harry’s special.”
Picked To Win Big Again
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index is giving the Blue Devils a 96 percent chance to win against UNLV.
Kennard, who averaged 32 points in the last two games, leads Duke in scoring with 20.4 points and has scored 20 or more points in five games on the year.
Next come Jayson Tatum with 16 points and eight rebounds from two games and he’s followed by Grayson Allen with 15.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists and Amile Jefferson with 15.6 points and 10.3 boards per game.
The other Duke player averaging in double-digits this season is freshman guard Frank Jackson, who is putting up 14 points per battle.
Senior forward Jefferson is averaging 20.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in the Blue Devils’ last three games and is shooting 26 of 37 for 70.3 percent from the floor.
Sophomore guard Jalen Poyser leads UNLV in scoring with 17.5 points per game.
Christian Jones is putting up 14 points and seven rebound through three games, Tyrell Green averaging 12.8 and 6.3 boards and Dwayne Morgan comes in with 10 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Runnin’ Rebels.
Saturday’s contest is part of the fourth-annual MGM Grand Showcase, which helps Coaches vs. Cancer.