Beats' picks: Will Duke men's basketball take down Iowa at Jimmy V Classic?

Duke is aiming for its third-straight win Tuesday against Iowa in New York.
Duke is aiming for its third-straight win Tuesday against Iowa in New York.

Before Tuesday night's tilt between No. 15 Duke and Iowa in the Jimmy V Classic, The Chronicle's beat writers predict the outcome. Here is what they forecast in the Blue Devils' latest visit to Madison Square Garden.

Jonathan Levitan: Duke 66-60

After taking down No. 25 Ohio State, the Blue Devils now get to go against first-team-out Iowa, which clocked in 11 votes behind the Buckeyes for the final spot in Monday’s AP Poll. Tuesday’s result, in the end, should bring another win for Duke against another physical, formidable opponent.

The Blue Devils are the better team and have shown—after a misstep against Purdue—that they match up with the Big Ten’s best. The reigning conference champions and the high-scoring Kris Murray are another challenge, and Duke is yet to put its best foot forward in a neutral-site game, but the formula from Wednesday’s win against Ohio State, in which the Blue Devils attempted just three second-half 3-pointers, feels replicable. Duke wins narrowly, but comfortably. 

Micah Hurewitz: Duke 70-66

I was frankly blown away by Duke’s ability to come back from its loss against Purdue to defeat Ohio State. The Blue Devils sharpened their game in the two games since their trip to Portland, Ore., and I think Scheyer will look to continue with the same game plan: attack using the length inside and keep the inside-out approach going with a rejuvenated Tyrese Proctor and a healthy Dereck Lively II. Iowa boasts a solid team, but shutting down Murray could open up a plethora of opportunities to run away with a win in front of what is often a home crowd in New York. I think this will be tight, but I think Duke has what it takes to hang with the best of them and will take its sixth-straight game at the World’s Most Famous Arena.

Sasha Richie: Duke 73-68

The “Duke is good” waters are murky and still a little cold, but I’m dipping my toes in. The Blue Devils did pretty much all you could ask them to do against a ranked Ohio State team and quieted the whispers that said they could not win in big moments. Now, Iowa is meeting them in the Big Apple in what figures to be one of most exciting matchups, if not the most exciting, Duke has played this year. 

The Hawkeyes return most of last year’s Big Ten championship-winning roster, with the superstar exception of Keegan Murray. Fans always wish they could clone their best player, and luckily for Iowa, they literally had another player with the same DNA waiting in the wings. Identical twin Kris Murray has been a rockstar this season, averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds, and will give the Blue Devils as much as they can handle. However, with almost every member of its roster coming into form, I like Duke’s chances. Mostly, though, I am just excited to watch.

Jake Piazza: Duke 81-71

This Duke team took tremendous strides this last week. The win against Ohio State was a classic grow-up game, and I can think of a positive step pretty much every player on the Blue Devil roster made this week. Most notably, Lively had his first double-digit scoring performance against Ohio State and is incorporated much more fluidly into the offense now. Iowa is a solid basketball team, but with Duke functioning at the level it showed this last week, I expect the Blue Devils to string a third-consecutive win together.

Max Rego: Duke 84-79

Iowa presents a unique challenge, as the Hawkeyes are fourth in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom and are led by standout forward Murray, one of only two players (along with Zach Edey of Purdue) in the country averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per contest. Murray will be a load for Mark Mitchell and Kyle Filipowski to handle, but the same goes for Jeremy Roach, whose performance down the stretch against Ohio State was reminiscent of his crunch-time heroics in March. Thanks to its floor general, Duke wins its second straight Big Ten matchup.

Alex Jackson: Duke 76-70

I was very close to picking Iowa in this matchup. I think the Hawkeyes are a talented team, and Duke has struggled away from home this year. This game is going to come down to Duke’s ability to score, mainly from 3-point range. The Blue Devils are clearly very strong on the defensive end, but we have seen them struggle to capitalize on that this season. Even in its dominant win over Boston College, Duke struggled to break the game open until late in the second half despite forcing a bad shooting performance from the Eagles. The Blue Devils are built for the biggest stages, however, and I trust them to come through on the offensive end when it matters most. This game is going to be close the whole way, but Duke will be able to hold on to a lead in the end thanks to Jeremy Roach’s confidence with the ball with the game coming down to the wire. 

Andrew Long: Duke 80-73

I have been wrong in all of my predictions so far, but I feel most confident about this one. A phenomenal bounceback from a thumping at Purdue’s hands in Portland against Ohio State and Boston College has me confident in Duke’s abilities to string together another cohesive performance against a solid Hawkeye unit. Improved play from Lively and a solid game from Mitchell are welcome signs for the Blue Devil faithful, who have yet to see this team really click as well. If all goes to plan and if current trends continue, expect a third-consecutive win for Scheyer and company.

Rachael Kaplan: Duke 79-77

If you had asked me a week ago, I would have had a different answer. I do still think this one is going to be close. Iowa’s only loss was to now-No. 24 TCU, and it kept it close throughout the first half. Murray has been playing lights-out—he just put up 31 points in the Hawkeyes’ 16-point win against Georgia Tech. The Horned Frogs have been the only team to limit his production, and he still notched a double-double. While Duke’s offense was much improved in its past two showings, the doubt it elicited in the Phil Knight Legacy is not soon forgotten. However, the Blue Devils have been getting the job done, and even if they can’t completely shut down Murray, their dominant big men and improved shooting will be enough to keep them in front. 

Max Rego profile
Max Rego

Max Rego is a Trinity senior and an associate sports editor for The Chronicle's 118th volume. He was previously sports managing editor for Volume 117.

Jake C. Piazza

Jake Piazza is a Trinity senior and was sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

Sasha Richie profile
Sasha Richie | Sports Managing Editor

Sasha Richie is a Trinity senior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Micah Hurewitz

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity senior and was previously a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Jonathan Levitan

Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity senior and was previously sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Rachael Kaplan profile
Rachael Kaplan | Sports Managing Editor

Rachael Kaplan is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.

Andrew Long profile
Andrew Long | Recruitment/Social Chair

Andrew Long is a Trinity junior and recruitment/social chair of The Chronicle's 120th volume. He was previously sports editor for Volume 119.


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