Duke vs. Wake Forest Preview & Predictions - It's Good to be Home

Duke is coming off of a heartbreaking and emotionally draining loss to Syracuse over the weekend, facing the Demon Deacons at home where the Devils haven't lost in over two years. Wake is looking to regain momentum and get their season back on track after losing at home to both Syracuse and Georgia Tech last week.

Projected Starting Lineups

#11 Duke (17-5, 6-3 ACC)

G Quinn Cook, Jr., 12.2 ppg, 5.5 apg

G Rasheed Sulaimon, So., 8.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg

F Rodney Hood, R-So., 17.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg

F Jabari Parker, Fr., 18.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg

C Amile Jefferson, So., 7.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg

Wake Forest (14-8, 4-5)

G Madison Jones, So., 3.6 ppg, 3.5 apg

G Codi Miller-McIntyre, So., 14.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg

F Travis McKie, Sr., 10.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg

F Tyler Cavanaugh, So., 8.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg

F Devin Thomas, So., 11.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg

What to watch for:

Intensity Levels

Both squads are coming off of tough losses, and teams tend to either play really energetic the next game hoping to turn things around, or lathargic because they're still thinking about their previous defeat.

It will be much easier for Duke to get up for this game with it being at home, but teams always seem to give the Blue Devils their best shot. If Wake Forest comes out like that, they'll have a slim chance to win.

But if they come out expecting to lose, it'll be blowout city.

Jabari Parker vs. Wake's Defense

This isn't so much for the outcome of this game as it is for the rest of Duke's season. Parker has struggled in ACC play, shooting only 35% from the field in his last 10 games.

He's still played good basketball and has helped his team in other ways - he's averaging over 11 rebounds a game in that same time span - but he needs to get back to playing efficient offense for the Devils to make a deep run in March.

Wake's defense hasn't always looked the greatest in conference games, especially against good competition, and they don't have anybody who can match up with the strength and quickness of Parker.

This is the game where he can get his offense turned around, and it needs to happen sooner rather than later for this Duke team.

Prediction: Duke 88-61. Wake in a tough part of their schedule and are in danger of freefalling down the ACC standings. The problem is, Duke has superior talent at every position on the floor and will play inspired back in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Plus, Coach K teams simply don't lose twice in a row - unless Greg Paulus is his point guard, of course. The Devils are going to unleash all their frustrations from losing Saturday on the Deacons, which doesn't bode well for Wake.

And Paulus is now an assistant at Ohio State, so there's no hope for coach Bzdelik's squad.

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