The UCLA Bruins take on the Duke Blue Devils at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 pm ET. The game will be aired live on ESPN.
Is it just me or is Duke playing one of the more ridiculous schedules this year? This is the second time they are playing at MSG, in addition to playing at the United Center (home court of the Chicago Bulls) in November. What happened to playing on a college campus?
UCLA recently lost its Top 25 ranking because of a loss to then unranked Missouri. The Bruins are 9-1, and should not have lost their ranking because Missouri is a legitimate contender for the SEC title. In sum, UCLA is a good team, and being unranked makes them a dangerous opponent for Duke.
I don’t believe Duke has done much to deserve their No. 8 ranking. They are 1-2 against ranked teams, and nearly lost to a Vermont team that is 4-7. Tonight’s game is a very good test to gauge whether or not Duke deserves a top-10 ranking.
The Blue Devils rely heavily on freshman forward Jabari Parker, who is averaging 22.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Sophomore Rodney Hood is the second option averaging 18.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. Junior guard Quinn Cook is another stellar performer for the Blue Devils averaging 14.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 6.6 assists. Parker, Hood, and Cook give Duke a triple-threat on offense, and UCLA must concentrate on each player to keep the game close.
The Bruins are led by sophomore guard Jordan Adams, who is averaging 21.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per contest. Forward Kyle Anderson is a versatile player for UCLA averaging 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists. Anderson creates a difficult matchup for opponents because he is a big man who can pass. Freshman guard Zach LaVine provides another scoring option averaging 13.8 points for the Bruins.
Both teams are looking for a resume builder at MSG. Who do you think will win?