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ESPN Releases Early Prediction For Duke-Virginia Tech

duke freshman zion williamson celebrates against kentucky

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 06: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates against the Kentucky Wildcats during the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 6, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Two ACC teams that needed late rallies to win in the Round of 32 will now face off in the Sweet 16 for the second time this year. Here's why the Duke-Virginia Tech game could be one of the most compelling matchups of the entire round.

Duke has gotten off to a bit of a slow start in both NCAA Tournament games to this point. But the Blue Devils turned on the jets in the second half against both North Dakota State and UCF to get their wins, even if the latter was laden with a bit of controversy.

Virginia Tech boasts being one of only four schools to beat Duke during the regular season. Granted, the Blue Devils didn't have Zion Williamson in that game, but the win was a real confidence booster for the Hokies. The defense has shined for the Hokies, as they have not allowed 60 points against either Saint Louis or Liberty.

ESPN's computer model has released an early prediction for the Duke-Virginia Tech Game.

The computer model indicates that the Blue Devils are well-equipped to knock off the Hokies in the Sweet 16. ESPN's BPI gives Duke a 72.2-percent chance to win, and expects the team's winning margin to come by 6.5 points.

The X-factor in the game will obviously be Zion Williamson, who as mentioned earlier did not play in Virginia Tech's 77-72 regular season win over Duke.

The game will be played on Friday, March 29 at 9:39 p.m. ET on CBS.