Wake Forest-Duke Preview
By JEFF MEZYDLO
(AP) -- After beating some of the nation's top programs to highlight a perfect non-conference schedule, Duke can focus on carrying over that success into ACC play.
The top-ranked Blue Devils try for a sixth straight league-opening victory Saturday as they hope to continue their dominance over visiting Wake Forest, which looks for its first four-game winning streak in three seasons.
Duke (13-0) is putting up 80.1 points per game and winning by an average of 18.3, with victories over Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State - all top 5 teams at the time.
The Blue Devils capped their undefeated non-conference slate with a 67-50 win over Davidson on Wednesday. Ryan Kelly had 18 points and Quinn Cook added 15 as they broke open a 29-29 tie with a 12-0 run to start the second half.
"For our guys to go 13-0 with our non-conference schedule is just magnificent," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "It's terrific."
Krzyzewski and his squad hope this early success will pave the way for the program's first regular-season ACC title since sharing it with Maryland in 2009-10. The 2010-11 Blue Devils started 15-0 but finished second to North Carolina, as last season's team did.
Duke has not won the league outright since 2005-06.
The Blue Devils should have a good chance to extend their five-game winning streak in league openers. Duke has won five in a row overall versus Wake Forest (7-5) and 13 straight at home in the series by an average of 20.0 points.
The Demon Deacons' last win at Cameron Indoor Stadium was an 81-69 victory Jan. 11, 1997, behind 26 points from Tim Duncan.
Kelly has averaged 21.0 points on 21-of-30 shooting, including 8 of 10 from 3-point range, and 8.0 rebounds in his last three games versus Wake Forest. Fellow senior Seth Curry made 12 of 21 shots while totaling 29 points in two games against the Demon Deacons last season.
Curry (16.2 points per game), however, was held to six points on 3-of-11 shooting against Davidson.
"I got the shots that I wanted," said Curry, who went 12 of 18 and scored a season-high 31 against Santa Clara last Saturday. "I just wasn't able to get them to go down. Maybe I was pressing a little early trying to get going. I'm just going to have to bounce back on Saturday."
Curry is just one member of Duke's talented lineup that Wake Forest must contain if it's to avoid a 19th loss in its last 20 conference road contests. Wake's only win during that stretch came at Boston College on Jan. 21.
The Demon Deacons, however, are hoping the momentum they've built from their current run will somehow lead to the school's first four-game winning streak since Feb. 2-13, 2010, under former coach Dino Gaudio.
Wake Forest has averaged 76.3 points and shot 50.0 percent during three straight victories over Furman, UNC-Greensboro and Xavier.
"We're getting better," coach Jeff Bzdelik said after Wednesday's 66-59 win over the Musketeers. "You can do that in practice but you need to see results. We're in a really good place right now."
Forward Travis McKie (14.5 ppg, 7.9 rebounds per game) has averaged 17.5 points in the last four contests. He had 16 with 10 boards in last season's 91-73 loss at Duke.
Updated January 4, 2013