Much like the rest of this year’s ACC contingent, the Duke Blue Devils are still alive in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. With the dynamic duo of Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram leading the way, Duke has done just enough in the first two rounds to seal another trip to the Sweet 16.
However, the No. 4-seed Blue Devils face their biggest test yet as the West Region’s top seed, the Oregon Ducks, will be out to book their first trip to the Elite Eight since 2007.
Get a complete look at this Pac-12 vs. ACC tournament matchup with our preview below. Meanwhile, check out who the winner of this matchup will meet in the West Regional final with our preview of No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas A&M.
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March Madness No. 1 Oregon vs No. 4 Duke Preview
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
When: Thursday, March 24, 9:55 PM ET
Line: Oregon Ducks (-3) vs. Duke Blue Devils (+3); total: 156.5 – view all March Madness lines
TV Broadcast: TBS
Betting on the Oregon Ducks
After a huge 39-point win over Holy Cross in the round of 64, No. 1 seed Oregon was given quite a scare in its second-round matchup by Saint Joseph’s. But the Ducks eventually pulled away late to get the 69-64 victory, which extended their win streak to 10 games (7-3 ATS).
For one, Oregon has the weapons to hang with Duke offensively. The Ducks have a very balanced attack, with Dillon Brooks (16.6 PPG), Elgin Cook (14.4 PPG) and Tyler Dorsey (13.7 PPG) all capable of taking over a game when needed. Brooks took on that responsibility with a team-high 25 points and a couple of clutch baskets against St. Joe’s.
The Ducks also like to crash the offensive boards, as evidenced by their 39th rank in the nation in offensive rebound rate. They should be able to find some joy against a Duke team that has been burned multiple times this season by its inability to clean the offensive glass.
Meanwhile, this Ducks team is one of the best defensive units in Dana Altman’s time in Eugene. With their size and length, particularly in the perimeter, the Ducks ranked a respectable 49th in adjusted defense efficiency. That length should give Grayson Allen and the prolific Blue Devils offense a few problems.
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Betting on the Duke Blue Devils
Despite getting absolutely crushed once again on the offensive boards by Yale, the Duke Blue Devils did more than enough to bring down the Bulldogs, 71-64. It was the first time Duke, a 6.5-point favorite against Yale, managed to cover the spread in seven games.
Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram were just outstanding for Duke. The two combined to score 54 of the team’s 71 points against Yale while playing all 40 minutes. They’ve now played 159 out of a possible 160 minutes over the first two tournament games. The four days’ rest in between the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight should make fatigue a non-issue against Oregon, though.
Duke has been one of the most potent offenses in the country this season, ranking 17th in points per game and fourth in adjusted offensive efficiency. However, the Blue Devils will need a couple more players aside from Allen and Ingram to step up against a well-balanced Oregon team.
Senior big man Marshall Plumlee, who had just two points against Yale, should be more of a factor against an Oregon team that isn’t the best at cleaning up the offensive glass.
Meanwhile, freshman Luke Kennard finally broke out of a mini-shooting slump with 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting from three against Yale, and should have some decent looks from beyond the arc. The Ducks defense allows opponents to shoot 36 percent from three, 267th in the country.
Oregon’s (-3) more well-rounded game is enough to bring down Duke, 77-73.