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Preview: A true defense vs. offense battle: No. 16 Duke, No. 24 Florida State

In an ACC showdown of two Top 25 teams, the Florida State Seminoles are looking to get back to their winning ways against the Duke Blue Devils, who have won 14 of their last 15.

South Carolina v Duke
Celeste Taylor (jersey #0)
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

A Top 3 ACC offense faces a Top 5 NCAA defense in a battle of marquee star vs. team Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. The 24th-ranked Florida State Seminoles, led by phenomenal freshman guard Ta’Niya Latson, battle the 16th-ranked Duke Blue Devils, who are 8-1 against conference competition.

In defeating the 12th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies on Thursday, Duke showed that defense wins in the NCAA, holding projected Top 10 WNBA pick Elizabeth Kitley to four points in 35 minutes, playing absolutely swarming defense in the final five minutes. The Blue Devils ran an aggressive full-court press near the end of the game, forcing the Hokies to play away from Kitley and struggle to get into their offensive sets.

This aggressive defense has paid dividends for the Blue Devils, who are 13-1 in the last two months. A pretty mind-boggling stat about Duke's defense this season is that in the last two months, the Blue Devils have not given up more than 70 points in a game. This swarming defense has been their calling card all season and it will be exciting to watch them play against the dynamic Seminole offense.

Florida State currently has a Top 25 offense in all of college basketball. Led by Latson, who is sixth in the NCAA in points per game, the Seminoles have emerged from the gutter to climb into the AP Top 25 for the first time all season.

In Thursday’s loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Seminoles did struggle to create quality looks against the Irish half court defense. Notre Dame face-guarded Latson the entire game, and while she was able to create some good looks, they weren’t consistent enough. Florida State is not a great 3-point shooting team, but it attempts the most threes in the entire ACC. Even with that being said, the Seminoles shot 13 percent below their season average from behind the arc.

The Seminoles had great success in the first half creating quality looks when they played in transition, which will be crucial to their success against another aggressive defensive team in Duke. It’s truly a contrast in offensive philosophies: Florida State will look to push the tempo (fastest pace in the ACC); the Blue Devils will look to slow down the game (third-slowest pace in the ACC) and force players other than Latson to beat them. Expect a low-scoring, defensive slugfest between two dynamic Top 25 teams.

Game information

No. 16 Duke Blue Devils (18-2, 8-1 ACC) vs. No. 24 Florida State Seminoles (18-5, 7-3 ACC)

When: Sunday, Jan 29 at 2 p.m. ET

Where: Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, FL

How to watch: ACC Network