Threes the key for Blue Devils, Hurricanes

January, 22, 2013
1/22/13
12:12
PM ET
The top-ranked Duke Blue Devils hit the road for the second time this season to take on the Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday (ESPN, 7 ET).

The Blue Devils are 16-1 this season, but lost their only previous road game against North Carolina State on January 12.

Miami is ranked for the first time since January 2010, when the Hurricanes reached No. 23 in the AP poll after starting the season 15-1.

Key to the game
Duke is shooting 42.2 percent on three-pointers this season, best in the ACC and fourth in the nation. The Blue Devils have won 77 straight games when making at least 44 percent of their shots from behind the arc.

The last time Duke shot better than 40 percent from three-point range for an entire season was in 1991-92, when it won its second of back-to-back national championships.

The Hurricanes are holding their opponents to 31.1 percent on three-point shots and have held five of their last six opponents under 40 percent from long range.

Despite Miami's solid defense against the three-point shot, the Hurricanes give up a large percentage of their points from beyond the arc. Miami’s opponents have scored 33.0 percent of their points on three-pointers, which is the second-highest percentage in the conference.

Take care of the ball
Duke and Miami are the best two teams in the ACC at taking care of the basketball. They are the only two conference members to turn the ball over on less than 17 percent of their possessions.

The Hurricanes’ ball control could limit Duke’s easy baskets. The Blue Devils lead the ACC with 19.1 points per game off turnovers. Miami allows a league-low 9.6 points per game off turnovers.

Catch me if you can
Duke leads the ACC in points per game (19.2) and field goal percentage (43.1) on catch-and-shoot jump shots this season.

In the Blue Devils’ lone loss, they went cold on those shots, scoring just 12 points on 36.4 percent shooting in catch-and-shoot situations against the Wolfpack.

Duke struggled on those shots, despite being left unguarded on nine of its 11 catch-and-shoot attempts.

Seth Curry is shooting 47.9 percent on catch-and-shoot plays, fifth best in the ACC. He’s even better when guarded, making an ACC-best 53.7 percent of his contested catch-and-shoot attempts.

As good as the Blue Devils are on catch-and-shoot offense, they are just as good on the defensive end. Duke limits its opponents to 8.5 points per game and 26.7 percent shooting in such situations. Both figures lead the ACC.

Final Four pedigree?
Duke is allowing 88.4 points per 100 possessions this season, on pace for the team's best defensive efficiency since the 1997-98 season.

The Blue Devils have held their opponents to 92 or fewer points per 100 possessions four times in the last 15 seasons. They’ve made it to the Sweet 16 each time and played for the championship twice, winning the 2001 title.

Last season, the Blue Devils allowed 99.7 points per 100 possessions, fourth-worst in the ACC.

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