Duke-Boston College Preview

After Duke pulled off its second improbable comeback in a week,

freshman Austin Rivers admitted the team cannot continue to rely on

late rallies.

While a game against one of the ACC’s worst teams may be just

what the Blue Devils need to regain their composure, Boston College

has been a tough opponent lately – its last game


Fifth-ranked Duke again looks to regroup as it tries to continue

its dominance over the Eagles on Sunday night at Conte Forum.

The Blue Devils (22-4, 9-2) have won three times since a 78-74

overtime loss to Miami on Feb. 5, but easily could have dropped two

of those games.

They erased a 10-point deficit in the final 2 1/2 minutes

against then-No. 5 North Carolina on Feb. 8, winning 85-84 on

Rivers’ 3-pointer at the buzzer. They rallied from 20 points down

with 11 1/2 minutes left to defeat North Carolina State 78-73 on

Thursday. The 16-point halftime deficit in that game was the

largest Duke has overcome under Hall of Fame coach Mike


“Nobody quit. That’s the biggest thing,” said Seth Curry,

averaging 20.5 points in his last four games. “Nobody thought we

were going to lose any time in the game. That’s the biggest thing

about our team.”

Curry scored 21 of his season-high 26 points in the second half

Thursday, while Rivers added 16.

“I’m tired of doing this, to tell you the truth,” said Rivers,

averaging 18.8 points in five games this month. “I’m so proud and

everybody’s so proud, but at the same time, we need to stop doing


Sandwiched between these two comeback victories, the Blue Devils

easily defeated Maryland 73-55 last Saturday.

That could bode well for Duke because Boston College (8-18, 3-9)

is coming off a lopsided loss to the Terrapins.

The Blue Devils also have won four straight in the series since

an 80-74 loss at Conte Forum on Feb. 15, 2009, their only defeat in

the last 13 meetings. They beat the Eagles 84-68 at Cameron Indoor

Stadium in the only matchup last season, as Curry had 20 points and

Ryan Kelly scored 14.

Boston College has the worst overall record of any ACC team and

struggled mightily at Maryland on Thursday, falling behind by 19

points just over 12 minutes into the game in an 81-65 loss. It was

the eighth defeat in nine games for the Eagles, but the lone win

came over then-No. 15 Florida State on Feb. 8.

Despite its struggles, Boston College had been competitive prior

to facing the Terrapins with its three previous defeats decided by

five points or less.

“For the first time in a while we didn’t compete as well as we

have been,” coach Steve Donahue said. “We just didn’t have a good

body language going.”

The Eagles’ last four home games against the Blue Devils also

have been competitive with the contests decided by a total of seven

points and Boston College winning once.

To pull off the upset this time, the Eagles will have find a way

to keep up with Duke’s powerful offense.

The Blue Devils are second in the ACC in scoring at 79.7 points

per game, while Boston College ranks last, averaging 59.9


Rivers averages a team-best 15.0 points, and Curry (13.4 per

game), Kelly (12.2) and Mason Plumlee (11.5) all average better

than the Eagles’ leading scorer, Ryan Anderson (10.4).

Anderson, a 6-foot-8 freshman, had a career-best 22 points

against Maryland and has been playing well lately. He is averaging

17.7 points on 54.3 percent shooting in his last three games after

averaging 7.3 points on 26.1 percent shooting in his previous