Duke vs Miami Prediction: Can the Blue Devils avoid a letdown against the struggling Canes?

Duke will put its four-game winning streak on the line against Miami.

Feb 17, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jared McCain (0) drives the ball
Feb 17, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jared McCain (0) drives the ball / Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 8-ranked Duke Blue Devils will head down to Coral Gables, FL, Wednesday night to play the Miami Hurricanes. 

The Blue Devils are on a four-game winning streak after defeating the Florida State Seminoles, 76-67, over the weekend without Tyrese Proctor, who is in the concussion protocol. Duke is a half-game out of first place in the ACC behind the No. 10-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels

The Blue Devils will try to avoid a letdown against the Hurricanes, who have lost four straight games entering Wednesday night’s contest. Miami is not in the tournament picture and could be playing in the NIT, depending on how the rest of the regular season plays out.

Duke vs Miami Prediction & Preview

The Blue Devils have handled their business in conference play (11-3) and on the road (5-3) this season. However, the same cannot be said for the Hurricanes, who are 6-9 in the ACC but 11-3 at home.

The only teams that the Canes have lost to at home in conference play were North Carolina and Florida State. Miami will hope their success at home this season will help snap their four-game losing streak, as they’ve lost by an average of 12.5 points per game.

And now they get to face a Duke squad coming off a hard-fought win over the Seminoles on Saturday, where freshman Jared McCain scored 35 points and set a freshman record with eight three-pointers made.

The Blue Devils needed all those points from McCain as the only other player to score in double figures was senior Jeremy Roach with 17 points. Duke cannot afford to have a similar outing on Wednesday night as the Canes have four players scoring 13-plus points per game and shooting 36% or better from three-point range.

Duke has one of the better three-point defenses in the conference (allowing opponents to shoot 32.2% from deep). But Miami is ranked second in three-point shooting (37.2%). Therefore, it will be imperative for Jon Scheyer’s crew to do their best to not allow open looks for Norchad Omier (17.8 points per game, 37% from deep) and Wooga Poplar (13.7 points, 42.6% from beyond the arc).

That being said, Duke should still come away with the win on Wednesday night, as they are the better team. Don’t get it twisted – both teams can score a bunch of points, but when it is late in the second half, I trust the Blue Devils to get a stop.

My final score prediction: Duke 75 – Miami 65

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