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Three things to watch for in Duke at Virginia

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Three things to watch for in Duke at Virginia

It's a battle of ACC heavyweights as No. 2 Duke visits No. 3 Virginia Saturday night in Charlottesville, Va. In case you need more incentive, here's three reasons to watch Duke at Virginia.

1. Two words: Zion Williamson. The definition of a one-man wrecking crew, Williamson has only solidified his status as the favorite to go No. 1 in the 2019 NBA Draft since donning Duke blue. Beyond the dozens of highlight-reel dunks, he's stuffing the stat sheet with 22.0 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.0 blocks per game. 

2. However, Williamson and the high-flying Duke offense will be facing the best defense in the land; UVA holds opponents to a Divsion I-leading 52.9 points per game. In addition, the Cavaliers have the nation's third-best opponent field goal percentage (37.0), trailing only Texas Tech and Houston in that category. Expect the Blue Devils to put up some points, but UVA will certainly make it tough sledding for them.

3. When these two get together, you already know you're in for an instant classic. Both teams feature some of the NCAA's best pro prospects: five players in this game alone could be first round picks come June 20. In their first clash this season at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 19, the lead changed 15 times before the Blue Devils pulled out a narrow 72-70 victory. Will the Cavaliers get revenge in their home gym? 

Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. 

Duke at Virginia How to Watch

What: Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Cavaliers

Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.

When: 6:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Duke at Virginia Preview

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Record: Duke (20-2, 8-1), Virginia (20-1, 8-1)

Last Game: 80-55 win vs. Boston College, 2/5 (Duke), 56-46 win vs. Miami, 2/2 (Virginia)

Leading Scorers: RJ Barrett, 23.0 ppg (Duke) De'Andre Hunter, 14.7 ppg (Virginia)

Duke at Virginia Betting Odds/Lines 

Spread: Virginia -2

Over/Under: 135

(Betting lines via BetOnline.ag)

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Richmond Spiders lose leading scorer Blake Francis for 4-6 weeks

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Richmond Spiders lose leading scorer Blake Francis for 4-6 weeks

Richmond Spiders' Blake Francis will miss four to six weeks after fracturing his sternum, the team announced on Thursday.

The injury occurred at the end of the Spiders' contest against Saint Louis on Jan. 11. Francis fell to the floor to save a loose ball when opposing Bilikins dove onto a dogpile to recover the possession themselves. 

If Francis is out for the full six weeks, he would return during the final week of the regular season. It would give the guard a tuneup game before they play in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. 

The loss of Francis for the majority of the Atlantic 10 conference season cannot be overstated. A transfer from Wagner, Francis is the No. 2 guard in the Spiders lineup and putting out 17 points a game. Immediately he had an impact for the Spiders and was named a starter for his first game in Richmond. 

His scoring threat has allowed other stars Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden to flourish. An aspect of the offense that was missing last year. 

At 13-4, the Spiders were still in NCAA Tournament consideration before the injury. They have one of the better records in the league and tough road victories at Rhode Island and Davidson to their credit. However, there is no wiggle room for the Spiders and they probably cannot afford another loss to anyone not named Dayton or VCU. 

Without Francis, they'll have to supplement the offense elsewhere if they want any chance to return to the big dance in March. 

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Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente takes himself out of running for Baylor job

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Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente takes himself out of running for Baylor job

Virginia Tech fans can breathe a sigh of relief today, as head coach football coach Justin Fuente has decided to stay in Blacksburg, according to Andrea Adelson

Fuente had emerged as a top candidate to replace Matt Rhule at Baylor, but he took himself out of the running and will look to improve on a strong close to the 2019 season for the Hokies. 

Fuente just finished replacing a number of defensive assistants. He hired a new cornerbacks coach Tuesday and promoted Justin Hamilton to defensive coordinator after Bud Foster retired. 

While a bad loss to Virginia at the end of the regular season and a heartbreaking loss in the bowl game to Kentucky could paint the season as a failure, finishing 8-5 after early-season struggles is a victory in and of itself.

Heading into next season, Virginia Tech fans have to feel good about the state of their team. The head coach is back and they seemed to find a rising star at quarterback in Hendon Hooker. 

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