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CBB Duke at Boston College

February 14, 2007

Duke Blue Devils at Boston College Eagles (-2, 133) 9:00 PM EST

Jared DudleyThe Blue Devils are in the midst of a very surprising four game losing streak.

Duke (18-7, 5-6 ACC) had also been playing well before coming unglued. The team was 18-3 and was playing stifling defense to offset a mediocre offense. Duke's first loss during this streak was a two-pointer at Virginia, followed by a one point loss at home to Florida State. While Duke usually pulls out the close games, it is hard to berate them for losing by a combined three points.

Duke's next game was at home against North Carolina. The Dukies had a great chance to beat their more talented rivals, but ultimately fell short late, 79-73. The final indignity came last Saturday at Maryland, when a deflated Duke squad succumbed quietly, 72-60.

The Maryland loss had more significance than just extending the losing streak. Duke also fell out of the Top 25 for the first time since 1996.

Boston College (18-6, 9-2 ACC) sits at the other end of the spectrum as an overachieving team. Not only did they lose their best player to graduation in Craig Smith, but they had another personnel crisis this season.

That happened in January, when center Sean Williams was dismissed from the team. Williams had an improving offensive game, and may have been the best shot-blocker in the entire country.

BC was 13-4 when Williams was dismissed. Instead of letting that ruin their season though, they have gone 5-2 since. The Eagles also have the best record in the ACC.

Boston College's strength lies in the leading scorer and rebounder in the conference, Jared Dudley. Dudley is unknown in a lot of college basketball circles, but the 6'7" forward will definitely be playing in the NBA next year. Dudley is joined by Tyrese Rice and Sean Marshall, two other proven scorers.

Throw in one of the most underrated coaches in the country in Al Skinner, and you can see why BC has jumped back into the top 25 at number 21.

So after hearing all this, how does Duke get back on track tonight? Well, Duke has a few things going for them.

They have dominated the series 7-1, including a 75-61 home game this year when Duke controlled the glass. If Josh McRoberts can assert himself in the post with Williams out, he can help quiet the home crowd, and the Blue Devils can sneak out with a win. Duke fans are counting on it.

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