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Discuss: How will Virginia fare against No. 3 Duke?

**As we move closer to tipoff at JPJ, see below for fan and player reactions as well as updates from @CavDailySports.

Fans storm the court after Virginia takes down Duke.

If you’re not at the game but want to get a glimpse of the atmosphere here at JPJ, below is a video of the players entering for pregame warmups about 30 minutes before tipoff.

HALFTIME UPDATE: Exhale, everybody. After Virginia raced out to a 18-6 lead fueled by a crowd more raucous than the line outside “Marco and Luna’s” at 3 a.m. on a Friday night, No. 3 Duke stormed back to cut the lead to 22-21. The Cavaliers were able to regain their defensive discipline and offensive spark, however, and enjoy a well-deserved 28-23 at the break.

Joe Harris is stating his case for ACC Player of the Year, scoring 15 points and basically carrying the Cavalier offense. Duke’s Mason Plumlee, meanwhile, has struggled defensively and has just 4 points and 4 rebounds at the break.

Both teams have five turnovers at the break and have attempted five free throws. Each are shooting below 30 percent on 3-point attempts.

For Virginia to eke out a victory here, the team will either need a legendary performance for Harris or more output from the other players on the floor. Only Jontel Evans, Akil Mitchell and Paul Jesperson have supplemented him so far.

Meanwhile, they’ll need to hope Duke continues to miss some of the open 3-pointers players have clanked so far and keep Plumlee from reasserting his dominance in the paint.

Keep checking out the blog for live updates below, and as always, check cavalierdaily.com postgame for our full coverage.

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Welcome to the first-ever installment of the Cavalier Daily’s new blog, “Pulse of the Fan.”

We hope to provide a forum for Virginia sports fans to share their opinion about their favorite teams. The blog will feature polls, discussion questions and insider videos from the team’s post game press conferences. Our hope is to provide a more interactive experience for current students, alumni and anyone who follows Virginia sports.

Without further ado, let’s get to the first topic: Virginia basketball. The Cavaliers face powerhouse Duke Thursday looking to extend their record-setting winning streak at John Paul Jones to 16 games in front of a sold-out home crowd. This is likely the most-anticipated Virginia basketball game since the 2012 NCAA Tournament gameβ€”a 26-point loss to Florida. Let’s hope this game goes a little bit better than that contest.

So how do you think the team will fare against No. 3 Duke?


Posted in Pulse of the Fan on February 27, 2013

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