Duke Blue Devils vs. UCLA Bruins (+3.5, OFF)
The game will be played at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York.
Jabari Parker and No. 8 Duke bring one of the most efficient offenses in the country to Madison Square Garden in New York on Thursday to face off against Jordan Adams and an even more potent UCLA attack. The Blue Devils are shooting 51.7 percent from the field, good enough for the top 10 in the nation but not quite enough to catch the Bruins, who fill it up at 54.3 percent and average 89.1 points. No. 22 UCLA is facing its first ranked opponent in Duke.
Parker is doing nothing to slow the hype train behind him with averages of 22 points and 7.6 rebounds in his freshman campaign and is sliding perfectly into a Blue Devils' offense that swings the ball and isn’t afraid to run. “The most important thing we want to do is keep developing,” Parker said. “We don’t want to peak too early. That’s a positive way we can look at it.” UCLA is developing as well and bounced back from its first loss by crushing Prairie View A&M 95-71 on Saturday.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE: The line opened with Duke as 3.5-point faves. The total are currently off the board.
ABOUT DUKE (8-2, 5-5 ATS): The Blue Devils zipped past Gardner Webb 85-66 on Monday and are coming together behind Parker, Quinn Cook and Rodney Hood. Cook is quietly taking control of the team from the point guard spot and is averaging a team-high 6.6 assists while shooting better than 50 percent from the field. “This year he is the veteran,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Cook. “It’s kind of like a torch has been passed. Maturity, leadership, it’s his team.” Cook posted nine assists in each of the last two contests.
ABOUT UCLA (9-1, 6-3 ATS): The Bruins have not played quite the same schedule the Blue Devils have and fell to the lone team to even sniff the Top 25 - Missouri - in their only true road game. Adams led UCLA in scoring in each of its first 10 games but guard Kyle Anderson is becoming the glue for the offense while posting 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists and shooting 60 percent from beyond the arc. “It’s a game you think about as a kid,” Anderson said of the meeting with Duke. “It’s going to be a test for our team. It’s at a neutral site, so we really have to play like we practice. It’s going to be great.”
* Duke is 1-4 ATS in its last five games following a SU win.
* UCLA is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall.
* Under is 4-0 in Duke's last four games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600.
* Over is 4-1 in UCLA's last five games overall.
1. The storied programs have not met since 2002, and Duke boasts a 7-1 lead in the series since Krzyzewski became coach.
2. UCLA gets 30.5 percent of its scoring off the bench, led by G Zach LaVine’s 13.8 points.
3. Blue Devils G Andre Dawkins is 7-for-11 from 3-point range over the last three games.