Preview: Virginia Tech at Duke
Ryan Kelly had a career-best outing in his initial contest since early January and gets a chance to build on a spectacular showing when Duke hosts Virginia Tech in Tuesday's Atlantic Coast Conference contest. Kelly scored a career-high 36 points as Duke defeated first-place Miami on Saturday in a stunning performance. He had missed the previous 13 games with a foot injury. Virginia Tech beat Clemson on Saturday for its second win in three games.The Hokies had lost nine straight games prior to recent victories over Florida State and Clemson and reside in last place in the 12-team conference. Virginia Tech was routed at home by the Blue Devils 88-56 on Feb. 21. Duke is in second place in the ACC but the conference tournament will likely dictate whether the Blue Devils can land a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament. Duke has won nine of its last 11 games. TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNUABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (13-16, 4-12 ACC): Senior guard Erick Green leads the nation in scoring at 25 points per game as his stellar career nears an end. Green has scored 20 or more points 26 times this season and his 1,667 career points rank 13th in school history. "These four years have been great," Green said after scoring 29 points against Clemson on Saturday in his final home game." Coach James Johnson has witnessed Green's ascension from a bit player to an elite scorer. "He goes from two points a game as a freshman to leading the nation in scoring," said Johnson, in his first season as coach after being promoted from an assistant role. "That shows what hard work can do for you and that's how we want to build this program and that's the type of kids I want to get in the program." ABOUT DUKE (25-4, 12-4 ACC): Kelly's previous high-scoring output was 23 points before his epic performance against the Hurricanes. Kelly made 10 of 14 shots, including 7-of-9 from 3-point range in a terrific outing for someone who last played on Jan. 8. "I just knew I was going to play my hardest," Kelly said after playing 32 minutes. "Honestly, though, more than anything it was just going to be whether I could hold up with my breathing. I haven't played any games in a long time, and being in a game is a lot different from being in practice or anything you can do. But I think I held up all right." Kelly is averaging 14.8 points in 16 games. Senior forward Mason Plumlee is averaging 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds and senior guard Seth Curry averages 16.9 points.TIP-INS1. Duke has won five straight meetings with the Hokies and 12 of the past 15.2. Blue Devils sophomore G Quinn Cook is 9-for-18 from 3-point range over the past three games.3. Virginia Tech sophomore F C.J. Barksdale is averaging 14.3 points over the last four games to raise his season mark to 5.8.PREDICTION: Duke 85, Virginia Tech 62
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