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Feb. 14, 2003


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The Game
Virginia stands at 14-8 overall and 5-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2002-2003. The Cavaliers are coming off an 81-67 loss to North Carolina (Feb. 12) in Chapel Hill, N.C. Duke, ranked eighth in both The Associated Press and USAToday/ESPN Top 25 polls, stands at 16-4 overall and 6-4 in the ACC this season. In its last game, the Blue Devils lost to 15th-ranked Wake Forest 94-80 in double overtime (Feb. 13) in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Series vs. Duke
Duke leads the all-time series with the Cavaliers 99-47. The Blue Devils, ranked number one in the nation at the time, won the first meeting of the 2002-2003 season 104-93 (Jan. 15) in Durham. UVa split the 2001-2002 season series with the Blue Devils. Virginia lost the first meeting last season 94-81 (Jan. 27) in Durham and won at home 87-84 (Feb. 28). The Cavaliers also split the 2000-2001 series with the Blue Devils with both teams winning at home. Duke won the first meeting 103-61 (Jan. 13) in Durham, while UVa posted a 91-89 victory (Feb. 14) in Charlottesville, which snapped a 12-game slide to the Blue Devils.

Duke has dominated the series in the last 20 years, winning 35 of the last 45 meetings since Ralph Sampson’s graduation from Virginia in 1983.

In addition to snapping the 12-game losing streak to the Blue Devils with its win in 2001, Virginia broke a six-game streak in which Duke reached triple digits.

During Duke’s 12-game winning streak over UVa, the Blue Devils won in convincing fashion, winning by an average of 25.3 points per game. Duke won by more than 40 points on four occasions. Only five of the last 14 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points.

Although Duke owns a big lead in the series, Virginia is 32-32 all-time against Duke on the Cavaliers’ various home floors throughout the years. UVa is 19-18 against Duke at University Hall and the Cavaliers have won the last two meetings in U-Hall.

Virginia vs. Ranked Duke Teams
Tonight’s contest is the 15th consecutive game in which the Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 10 when playing the Cavaliers, dating back to the 1996-97 season. After dropping 10 consecutive meetings against ranked Duke teams, the Cavaliers have won two of the last four games, including last season’s 87-84 victory at University Hall (Feb. 28). Earlier this season the Blue Devils posted a 104-93 victory (Jan. 15) over Virginia when Duke the top-ranked team in the nation.

The Blue Devils are currently ranked eighth in both The Associated Press and USAToday/ESPN Coaches polls.

In the past six seasons, Virginia has played Duke when the Blue Devils were ranked as the nation’s top team seven times. In 1997-98 Duke was ranked #1 at the time of all three meetings. (Virginia became the first team in NCAA history to play the nation’s #1 team five times in one season when, in addition to three games vs. Duke, UVa also played North Carolina twice when it was atop the polls). In 1998-99, the Blue Devils were ranked #1 when they defeated UVa 100-54 in Charlottesville (Feb. 11) and 104-67 in the ACC Tournament (Mar. 4). Last season, Virginia lost to #1 Duke 94-81 (Jan. 27) in Durham. This season the Blue Devils were #1 when they recorded a 104-93 win (Jan. 15) in Durham.

Overall, Virginia hasn’t fared well against a nationally-ranked Duke squad. The Cavaliers are 14-52 against a ranked Duke team, but are 4-5 vs. third-ranked Blue Devil squads. In its last three meetings vs. a #3 Duke team – UVa knocked off the Blue Devils 87-84 (Feb. 28) last season; defeated the Blue Devils 91-89 (Feb. 14) at home in the 2000-2001 season; and lost 106-86 (Feb. 5) in Durham during the 1999-2000 season.

The Cavaliers are 8-18 all-time against a top 10 Duke team in Charlottesville.

Earlier This Season Against Duke
Virginia played very well against the top-ranked team in the nation, but in the end the Blue Devils’ accuracy from the free throw line helped Duke to a 104-93 victory (Jan. 15) over the Cavaliers. The Blue Devils made 37-40 free throws in the game for an impressive 92.5 percent. The 37 free throws made ties the school record for most free throws made by a UVa opponent in a game.

Senior forward/center Travis Watson led the Cavaliers with 26 points, while sophomore forward Elton Brown and junior guard Todd Billet tallied 19 and 18 points, respectively. Sophomore guard Keith Jenifer rounded out UVa’s double figure scorers with 12 points. He also registered team highs of six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

The Cavaliers got out of the gates quickly and led by five points (22-17) with 11:52 remaining in the first half. Duke eventually took a 50-45 lead at the intermission.

A three-pointer by J.J. Redick to open the second half extended the Blue Devil lead to eight points, 53-45. The Cavaliers then went on a 9-0 run to take a 54-53 lead with 17:48 to play. Billet capped off the run with a pair of free throws. UVa took its last lead of the game (56-55) at the 17:06 mark on a jump shot by Watson. The game was tied four times after Virginia took the 56-55 edge, but the Cavaliers could never regain the lead. The Blue Devils made 12 of 13 free throws in the final 5:03 to help seal the victory.

UVa shot 50.8 percent (31-61) from the field in the game while Duke was 29-58 (50.0 percent) from the floor, including nine of 15 three-point attempts (60.0 percent). Duke drained 37 of 40 free throws (92.5 percent) and the Cavaliers made 27 of 39 attempts from the charity stripe (69.2 percent). UVa held a 32-31 edge in rebounds.

Redick led Duke with 34 points, while Dahntay Jones added 23.

Home Sweet Home
Like many ACC teams, the Cavaliers are enjoying terrific success playing in front of their home crowd. Ten of UVa’s 14 victories this season have been at University Hall. Prior to defeating Maryland (86-78 – Feb. 6), Virginia had lost its last five road games.

The Cavaliers are a perfect 10-0 at U-Hall this season and just 4-8 away from home, including 2-7 in away games.

Since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season, the Cavaliers are:48-8 (85.7 percent) in all home games22-6 (78.6 percent) in all home ACC games15-27 (35.7 percent) in all away games8-22 (26.7 percent) in all away ACC games7-6 (53.8 percent) in all neutral site games

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