Your Pocket Guide to Duke-Florida State

The No. 7 Blue Devils (17-3, 5-0 in the ACC) return to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on the No. 13 Seminoles (18-3, 4-1) tonight at 8:30 p.m. Duke is coming off a closer-than-expected victory at the Comcast Center Sunday over Maryland, 58-57, while Florida State easily dispatched Boston College 85-64 the same day. Here's what you need to know before the Blue Devils take the court tonight:

1. The last time these two teams played, it wasn't even close. In the semifinals of the ACC tournament, Duke shot 51.8 percent to race out to a 40-18 halftime lead, and essentially traded baskets the rest of the way. You can bet the Seminoles haven't forgotten that indignity after being the higher seed in the conference. And they got that by beating the Blue Devils in their lone meeting of the 2009 regular season. Speaking of which...

2. Duke also has revenge on its mind. The two teams' regular season tilt in Tallahassee was all but decided with 50 seconds left and the Blue Devils up by six, but Duke played atrociously in that final minute, allowing the 'Noles to eke out a victory in overtime. The game was emblematic of the Blue Devils' road woes last season (see: NCAA round 2, Mich. St.) but Duke figures to get a better result in Cameron.

3. Florida State has a great inside game, but that might favor Duke. In games against UConn, Stanford and Ohio State, All-American centers Tina Charles, Jayne Appel and Jantel Lavender had relatively quiet games against a very aggressive defense. It was the wings--Kalana Greene and Nnemkadi Ogwumike come to mind--that torched the Blue Devils. Considering those results, the player to watch for the Seminoles might not be Jacinta Monroe, but instead guards Alysha Harvin and Courtney Ward.

Projected starters:


F Bridgette Mitchell (9.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg)

F Joy Cheek (10.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg)

C Krystal Thomas (8.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg)

G Jasmine Thomas (15.8 ppg, 4.6 apg)

G Keturah Jackson (5.4 ppg, 2.4 spg)

Florida State

F Chasity Clayton (8.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg)

F Jacinta Monroe (12.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg)

G Angel Gray (7.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

G Courtney Ward (10.0 ppg, 5.4 apg)

G Alysha Harvin (11.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg)


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