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February 27, 2012

Wake Forest vs. No. 3 Duke: Preview

Wake Forest vs. No. 3 Duke
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Venue: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Tip-off: Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET.
Current records:
Wake Forest: 13-15, 4-10 ACC (Beat Boston College 85-56).
Duke: 25-4, 12-2 ACC (Beat Virginia Tech 70-65 in OT).

Series history: The Blue Devils have an all-time series lead of 159-77, and defeated the Demon Deacons 91-73 at Duke earlier this season.

Deacons Illustrated previews the game:

It was Andre Dawkins' seven first half three-pointers, Ryan Kelly and Austin Rivers 40 points combined, and Seth Curry's ability to drive the lane at will that rendered Wake Forest helpless in the first meeting of the season.

Assignment defense as always is important, but becomes an even greater priority when facing a team with as many potent shooters as Duke. Dawkins, Kelly and Rivers are better than 40-percent from behind the three-point arc.

"They hit some tough shots, but we have to make them take even tougher shots," Jeff Bzdelik said. "On offense I thought we manufactured some really good looks."

The Demon Deacons had four players reach double-digits in scoring with C.J. Harris scoring 20 points in the drubbing at Cameron.

However, Wake failed to convert on numerous open-shot opportunities (3-16 from downtown and 23-53 from the field overall).

Bzdelik just wants his team to play for the full 40 minutes, which means fighting through the adversity that will surely come. The Deacs were solid in spurts during the first meeting ultimately fighting back from a 26-point deficit to make it an 18-point decision.

In Saturday's blowout win over the Eagles Wake Forest was forced to overcome four deficits before grabbing the lead for good at the 7:51 mark of the first half.

"You've got to play fearlessly against anybody you play," Bzdelik said. "They're [Duke] going to miss three or four threes in a row. They might make three or four threes in a row, so you just have to keep playing. It's not like they're not human."

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