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Hurricanes Pad ACC Lead with Duke Victory

Miami (FL) handed No. 1 Duke a 27-point defeat on Wednesday night, retaining top spot in the ACC and leaving many wondering about the Blue Devils' chances this season.

In a season that is proving continually difficult for teams ranked in the top five, top-ranked Duke succumbed to a second defeat in three games on Wednesday night, as the Miami Hurricanes ran ragged over the Blue Devils.

The result sees Miami strengthen its place at the top of the ACC standings, a position the side has achieved by way of being unbeaten in conference play.

No. 25 Miami (FL) 90, No. 1 Duke 63

Anybody that suspected Miami (14-3, 5-0 ACC) topping the ACC was a result of an easy schedule so far this season had their hypothesis blown out of the water on Wednesday night.

The Hurricanes handed Duke (16-2, 3-2 ACC) its biggest loss of the season. In fact, it was the Blue Devils’ biggest loss since 1986. The loss also saw Duke move to 0-2 when playing true road games, a statistic that will be worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.

The upset 27-point win saw the Hurricanes embarrass bookmakers who had Duke as a two-point favorite. Miami is now 11-3-0 against the spread, while Duke falls to 10-8-0 ATS.

Thanks to Miami’s offensive barrage, the total (126.5) went well over, marking the first time all season the Hurricanes (1-10-1 O/U) had seen the total go over. Duke (8-9-0 O/U) has now seen the total go over in three straight games.

Duke will return home to host Maryland (15-4, 3-3 ACC) on Saturday (1:00 PM ET).

Miami hosts Florida State on Sunday (6:00 PM ET).

North Carolina 79, Georgia Tech 63

Whilst Duke was being handed a loss that will in all likelihood see it fall from the No. 1 spot in the AP poll next week, North Carolina (13-5, 3-2 ACC) – a side that has been struggling this season – took advantage of a Georgia Tech (10-7, 0-5 ACC) side yet to win in conference play.

The Tar Heels bumped their win streak up to three following losses to Virginia and Miami, and ahead of a big time weekend ahead.

As well as winning straight up, the Tar Heels also covered the spread (-9.5) moving to 10-6-0 ATS. Georgia Tech is now 6-9-0 ATS, having failed to cover in six straight.

The total (133.5) went over, marking the fourth straight game Georgia Tech has seen the total exceeded, while snapping a five-game North Carolina streak that saw the total go under.

North Carolina now makes the trip to Raleigh to face No. 18 North Carolina State (15-4, 4-2 ACC) in Saturday’s primetime matchup (7:00 PM ET).

Georgia Tech hosts Wake Forest (10-8, 3-3 ACC) – coming off an upset win over NC State – earlier in the day (3:00 PM ET).

Wednesday’s ACC Fixtures

Clemson (10-7, 2-3 ACC) makes the trip to Florida State (10-7, 2-2 ACC) to take on a Seminoles side that has stumbled out of the gate this season.

Neither side has wowed statistically this season, one of the major reasons that both sit in mid-table obscurity in the ACC at this point in time. The Seminoles will need to beware of the Tigers’ defense, which allows just 56.1 points per game (11th), one of the few bright spots for the team from South Carolina.

Both sides made the most of home court advantage last season, splitting a pair of games in the season series.

Florida State is favored in this one, with the point spread set at 4.5. The Seminoles have gone 8-7-0 ATS this season, but have failed to cover in two straight. Clemson is 9-4-0 ATS and has covered in the last three.

Virginia Tech (11-6, 2-2 ACC) hosts rival Virginia (12-5, 2-2 ACC) on Thursday night (8:00 PM ET).

The two sides split a pair of games last season with each winning on the opponent’s home court. Both will look for a win to propel them up the ACC standings as they meet at Cassell Coliseum.

The Cavaliers will look to take advantage of a superior defense to hand the Hokies a defeat. Virginia allows opponents to score just 50.6 points per game, a number that’s second best in the nation. They also limit teams to 36 percent shooting (6th). Virginia Tech will hope that its offense – which ranks 39th in the country in scoring – has enough to score a win.

Virginia enters the game as favorites, with the spread at 3.5. The Cavaliers a 9-5-1 ATS this season, and have covered in nine of the last 12. The Hokies are 6-7-1 ATS and have failed to cover in six of the last eight.

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