On Thursday night, the Texas Tech Red Raiders will face off against the Duke Blue Devils at Madison Square Garden in a showdown between two of the top teams in the nation. Texas Tech comes in ranked number 12 and is one of the few remaining unbeaten teams in the country with a record of 10-0. Duke comes in ranked number 2 with a record of 10-1 with their only loss coming to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Maui Invitational.
Both Teams Hoping for Repeat Performances
Texas Tech is coming off an 82-48 drubbing of Abilene Christian in their last game. Jarrett Culver led the way with 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Matt Mooney was the second leading scorer with 14, and Kyler Edwards chipped in with 10 points on the bench. Seven other Red Raiders scored in this contest as the Red Raiders shot 56% in the contest. Texas Tech will face a major step up in competition when they take on Duke as they have not faced a ranked opponent all season long.
Duke is coming off a 101-50 demolition of Princeton their last time out. RJ Barrett led the Blue Devils in scoring with 27 points. Zion Williamson was next on the list with 17 points and also led the team in rebounds with 10. Jack White and Alex O’Connell both chipped in 10 points, and 8 other Blue Devils got into the scoring column. Duke has faced much tougher competition, going 2-1 against ranked opponents this season, defeating Kentucky and Auburn and falling to Gonzaga.
Culver Keeping Texas Tech Afloat
Jarrett Culver has been the do-it-all guy for Texas Tech, as he leads the team in points, rebounds, and assists with 19.1, 5.7, and 4.5 per game, respectively. The next highest scorer has been Matt Mooney with 11 points a game. Mooney is the only other Red Raider averaging double figures. They will need contributions from other players in this one if they want to keep pace with Duke. The offense is averaging 77.5 points a game but the Red Raiders have been doing it on the defensive end, allowing only 51.2 points per game and that will be a key for them in this one.
Duke has gotten double-figure scoring from the three big freshmen that are all top 10 NBA talents in next year’s draft. RJ Barrett leads the trio with 24.5 points a game. Zion Williamson puts up 20.1 points per game and is also the teams leading rebounder with 9.1 rebounds per game. Cam Reddish rounds out the three-headed monster averaging 14 points per game. Duke has been unstoppable on offense this season averaging 93.6 points per game. The defense has been solid as well, allowing 64.3 points a game.
Duke vs. Texas Tech Prediction
Duke enters this game -8.5. The key to this game will be whether Texas Tech can slow down this Duke offense. Not many teams have been able to keep the Blue Devils under control and it will be a difficult task for Texas Tech, but I think they are up for it. Texas Tech should be able to put up enough points in this one to keep this game interesting and will rely on the defense to keep them in it down the stretch. Take Texas Tech +8.5.
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