Commentary

Duke will respond to the challenge

Updated: March 1, 2013, 2:25 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

I do not think Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is worried about Saturday's game against Miami being about revenge. He is probably concerned about Thursday night's loss to Virginia.

He is probably shaking his head after the Blue Devils had just three offensive rebounds against the Cavaliers. His team had just eight assists in the loss. Mason Plumlee had just five field goal attempts.

Now his team has to face a Hurricane squad that won by 27 in their first meeting.

Duke has set such a high standard, that opponents always take their best shot. If that foe gets to beat them, it is a signature win, one that goes to the top of the resume. If Miami wins Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, it will be a rare regular-season sweep of the Dukies.

Jim Larranaga's team is well ahead in the ACC standings. A win would show that anyone who feels Miami is not for real is crazy.

You know that coming off a loss, the Cameron Crazies will be wild, wanting to rally the troops.

For anyone critical of Duke's success, think about this. Saturday will mark the 205th consecutive game that the Blue Devils are playing as a top 10 team. Talk about consistency!

So far this season, Duke has responded to the challenge when coming off a loss. After falling to NC State, Miami and Maryland, they won the next time out by 16, 20 and 32 points. Granted, this time around the opponent is tougher as the 'Canes have been terrific all season long.

Shane Larkin has developed into one of the premier point guards in America. Larranaga has a number of players capable of scoring, and on the defensive end, Miami has been outstanding.

Think about it ... Duke does not lose consecutive ACC regular-season games often. The last time it happened was 2009, falling to North Carolina and at Boston College.

Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium will be a challenge for both squads. I cannot wait to call the game with Dave O'Brien and Doris Burke.

College basketball is so special at this time of year -- it's March Madness baby! There should be some madness down at Durham this weekend.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.