For the third straight season, the the No. 21 Duke Blue Devils lost three games in ACC play in January. Yet this particular stretch, where Duke went 5-3 with losses to NC State, Florida State and Louisville, felt different. Without Coach K, with the Grayson Allen noise, and that bad loss against NC State, the outlook was becoming increasingly grim.
But now with two straight road wins over quality ACC opponents (Wake Forest, Notre Dame), the team seems to be hitting its stride with an interesting conference stretch looming. Next up is a floundering Pitt team, which has just one win in conference play and is on a seven-game losing skid heading into Saturday.
Here’s how you can watch the game on TV or streaming online, along with a scouting report on each team and odds for the game.
When: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
Live stream (computer): Desktop link
Live stream (mobile): CBS Sports App
Duke has a team full of stars. With so many alphas on one team, it feels as if the team is beginning to understand the distribution of roles each player has. As Matt Norlander wrote this week, Duke needs to accept Luke Kennard as its best player. Averaging 23.3 points over the last three games, he has emerged as the teams most effective and efficient scorer. His role is likely to grow even more as March nears and the team embraces him as the No. 1 option.
For Pitt and Kevin Stallings, the team relies heavily on scoring production from Jamel Artis and Michael Young, two big-bodied forwards who average more than 20 points per game. The two seniors lead the team in rebounding and, ironically, blocks per game. Everything runs through the bigs and in the post, so look for Pitt to attack Duke’s Amile Jefferson and Jayson Tatum early.
Matchups to watch
Because Pitt’s offensive production is heavily reliant on its scoring in the paint, I think the game could be decided with the matchup down low. The Panthers like to muck up the game. Although they score at an efficient rate of 114.2 points per 100 possessions which ranks 34th nationally, its pace is 276th (out of 351) teams. Pitt likes to run a half-court offense, feed the ball into the post, and look for opportunities around the rim.
With that formula, Duke will rely on big defensive production from Amile Jefferson and Harry Giles. Although Giles has been fairly limited in minutes the past few games because of matchup issues, he could be an X-factor against Pitt’s top-heavy front line.
Odds and pick
Pick: Pitt +13
Outside of Pitt’s baffling 55-point blowout loss to Louisville, it has been able to keep three of its last four within 10 points — including a near breakthrough against UNC on Tuesday. Some of its most competitive games have come on the road, so I think Pitt can keep it within 13 and cover the spread. But Duke wins it.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / How to watch Duke vs. Pittsburgh: Time, TV, live stream, matchups, line, pick