Duke's Marvin Bagley III will return Saturday for game against Syracuse


Bagley has missed the last four games due to a knee sprain. Read the full Duke opponent preview. While Michigan, a tournament regular, essentially secured its NCAA tourney inclusion with a 72-63 victory over Penn State on Wednesday, the Orange and Cardinals went in the opposite direction.

Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III will play on Saturday against Syracuse, according to Duke.

Jonathan Alexander: Marvin Bagley III will play on Saturday.

Duke had gone 4-0 without Bagley, with senior guard Grayson Allen the team's scoring leader in each of those games. They have given up less than 60 points in three consecutive games against Virginia Tech, Clemson and Louisville.

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Junior Dala (3/35) though got Rohit out for the third time in three matches, trapping him lbw on the third ball of his first over. Four of India's remaining batsmen reached double figures but only Hardik Pandya made it to 20, and only just - he scored 21.

Over on the Duke side, they're sitting at 23-5 on the season.

With the freshman sidelined, Allen shot his way out of his recent slump and carried Duke's offense while averaging 23.8 points over the past four games. He is not expected to miss any time, but it is worth nothing with Bagley's status in question and despite assurance from the AD, Carter Jr.'s availability a bit of a question mark.

The D.O.: Duke forward Wendell Carter was recently named in a Yahoo Sports report for accepting impermissible benefits from an agent. It is not illegal to have lunch with an agent. Duke Athletic Director Kevin White said that there are "no eligibility issues" with Carter Jr. He's been a knock down shooter for Duke.

Still, Duke's defense was tough.

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LSU now has three players signed for the class of 2018 and another player, five-star forward Emmitt Williams, verbally committed. The two are key figures in the FBI investigation into fraud and corruption in the sport, and Dawkins was arrested in September.

Duke, in comparison, made 9 of 10 free-throw attempts before halftime. So will Syracuse be able to score is the question. Through persistent pressure and a crafty zone defense, Duke took away the chances from the players who needed them.

The D.O.: Which team do you think wins and why?

"We just try to play off of each other", Bagley said. Duke has too much offensive fire power. But each team is significantly better at home and Duke is at home this game.

Syracuse enters the contest fresh off a 78-74 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome, before a crowd of 27,165 - the highest attendance for an on-campus college basketball game this season.

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