A road game and an in-state opponent. Duke knows the pitfalls.

So Tuesday night at Wake Forest, the Blue Devils figure to be at full alert.

“It’s big, especially the way we laid an egg at N.C. State,” Duke guard Cassius Stanley said, referring to last week’s 22-point setback at North Carolina State. “We’ve got to redeem ourselves, especially in state, just taking pride and trying to be the best team in North Carolina. It’s definitely going to be a big game for us.”

Duke, with four regular-season games remaining, is in the mix atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings with Louisville and Florida State.

This could be a revealing stretch for the Blue Devils with their final two road games of the season.

“Going on the road, we’ve got Wake (Forest) and then we have Virginia,” guard Jordan Goldwire said. “So those aren’t going to be easy games. We’ve got to come out and play with intensity.”

Duke was back to form in blowing out Virginia Tech 88-64 on Saturday night. Still, the performance at N.C. State is less than a week in the past.

For coach Mike Krzyzewski, it has largely been a series of strong performances. The Blue Devils have won eight of their last nine games.

“They’ve done it,” Krzyzewski said of his team. “We’re 23-4. I think we’ve done it almost every game. The key is them, and they’ve been great. They had a bad night (last week).”

The coach has focused ahead.
“We want to go to Winston-Salem and win our 14th (ACC game),” Krzyzewski said.

The Virginia Tech game revealed the type of dominance that the Blue Devils are capable of showing.

Duke’s 51-point first half gave it 50 or more points before halftime in two ACC games this season. The Blue Devils finished with a 49-31 rebounding advantage for their largest margin on the boards in ACC play this season.

Freshman forward Matthew Hurt’s wavering performances hit another high mark. His 16 points and 10 rebounds gave him his first double-double.

Krzyzewski said it was one of Hurt’s better games.

“He moved his feet well and that was one of the keys,” Krzyzewski said. “He really pursued the ball well in rebounding.”

Wake Forest didn’t play during the past weekend. The Demon Deacons have lost two games in a row and four of their last five overall.

A 90-59 loss to Duke in January was one of six ACC games in which the Demon Deacons have surrendered 80 or more points.

“A lot of things went wrong,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said.

This is the middle game of a three-game homestand that marks Wake Forest’s final games of the season at Joel Coliseum.

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Tip-off

Who: No. 7 Duke (23-4, 13-3) at Wake Forest (11-15, 4-12)

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday (ACC Network)

Where: Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem

Series: Duke leads 174-78, with 11 consecutive victories (including a 90-59 victory Jan. 11)