The Duke Blue Devils are ready for Tuesday night and will face the Pittsburgh Panthers from Petersen Events Center at 9:00 p.m. ET. Duke is now outranked for the first time since 2016 after another loss last week against Virginia Tech, the latest poor result in a disappointing start to the season for the Blue Devils. The Pittsburgh Panthers will look to stay hot in tonight in a key Atlantic Coast Conference match up.
Duke is coming off a tough loss to Virginia Tech on Tuesday where they lost 74-67 and will look for a bounce-back game tonight against Pitt. Meanwhile, the Pitt Panthers are 7-2 on the season and coming off two consecutive wins over the Syracuse Orange and look for their eighth win of the season.
How to watch Duke vs Pittsburgh game FREE live stream
- Date: Tuesday, Jan. 19
- Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Pittsburgh, PA
- Venue: Petersen Events Center
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WATCH FREE HERE
The Panthers (7-2, 3-1) have won two in a row, but have had four of their past six games postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pittsburgh tied for 13th in the ACC with North Carolina and Wake Forest at 6-14 and was 16-17 overall in 2019-20. Duke (5-3), meanwhile, tied for second in the conference with Virginia and Louisville at 15-5 and was 25-6 overall a year ago.
Jalen Johnson not in Duke starting lineup
After missing all of three games and most of another with a foot injury, freshman forward Jalen Johnson is available to play tonight when Duke (5-3, 3-1 ACC plays Pitt. But the 6-8 preseason all-ACC selection will come off the bench for the second game in a row.
The absence of Jalen Johnson, Duke’s top freshman, to a foot injury has hurt but the roster as a whole simply hasn’t gelled for Mike Krzyzewski’s team. The Blue Devils have yet to beat a team with a winning record this season, which is problematic for them given the shortened season, meaning they need to start securing victories to bolster their chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Johnson returned in the Virginia Tech loss, playing four minutes in that game, and he should be more of a factor today as Duke hits the road to take on Pittsburgh. The Panthers haven’t been a factor in the ACC in recent years but have gotten off to a strong start this season, racing to a 7-2 record that includes a 3-1 mark in conference play.
The roster itself is top-heavy as three players average at least 15 points per game, including sophomore forward Justin Champagnie, who poured in 24 to help the Panthers top Syracuse over the weekend. Pittsburgh’s win total is nice but hollow without a true signature victory, which a win over the Blue Devils would certainly qualify as.
This game is also the kind of matchup Duke fans would write off in the past as an easy win. The Blue Devils don’t have that luxury now and need to take the Panthers seriously or risk spiraling into a deeper hole with a loss.
Duke’s starting five includes senior guard Jordan Goldwire, sophomore forward Matthew Hurt and three freshmen: forward Jaemyn Brakefield and guards DJ Steward and Jeremy Roach.
Since his injury was announced on Dec. 15, Johnson was not in uniform for Duke’s wins over Notre Dame, Boston College and Wake Forest. He played four minutes off the bench in Duke’s 74-67 loss at Virginia Tech on Jan. 12.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday Johnson had been a full participant in the team’s practices all week and would be available for more minutes in the Pittsburgh game.
Why Duke can cover
The Blue Devils have a young but potent roster, including freshman guard Jeremy Roach, who averages 11.1 points per game. Roach led Duke in its narrow road loss at No. 20 Virginia Tech, scoring a career-high 22 points on 6 of 14 shooting. He was also 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Roach is averaging 14.6 points over the Blue Devils’ last five games, averaging 33.6 minutes over that span.
Also powering the offense is freshman forward Jalen Johnson, who is averaging 9.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 blocks and 0.8 steals per game. He is easing his way back from a foot injury. He played four minutes at Virginia Tech after missing three games. Johnson started his collegiate career with a 19-point, 19-rebound performance in the season opener against Coppin State on Nov. 28. He also scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds against eighth-ranked Michigan State on Dec. 1.
Why Pittsburgh can cover
The Panthers are looking to match their best ACC start since joining the conference. Pittsburgh started league play at 4-1 in both the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons. Leading the offense is sophomore Justin Champagnie, who is averaging 18.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 blocks and one steal per game. He has posted four double-doubles, including a 24-point, 21-rebound effort against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 12 and a 20-point, 20-rebound performance at Northwestern on Dec. 9.
Also helping lead the potent Panther attack is junior guard Au’diese Toney, who is averaging 15.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He has started eight games and has scored in double figures seven times. He posted a double-double at Syracuse on Jan. 6 when he scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. For the season, he is hitting 50.6 percent of his field goals, including 37.9 percent of his 3-pointers.
How to make Duke vs. Pittsburgh picks
The model is leaning under on the total, with the simulations projecting 143 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits almost 70 percent of the time.