Duke unsurprisingly cakewalked its way past Iona in the first round to set up a date with an upset-seeking Rhode Island squad. Read on for a preview of this matchup below and don’t forget to register here to make your pick.
Betting Preview for the Rhode Island Rams vs Duke Blue Devils College Basketball Game on March 17, 2018
Where: PPG Paints Arena
When: Saturday, March 17, PM ET
Line: Rhode Island Rams vs Duke Blue Devils – view all NCAA Basketball lines
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Rhode Island Rams
The Rams have sent ESPN’s darling crashing out of the tournament. That’s Trae Young, who was sent packing for a vacation after Rhode Island defeated Oklahoma on Thursday in the first round, 83-78. The win was some sort of validation for the Rams’ defense as they were able to contain the Sooners’ explosive defense. They are going to need to sustain that against the high-scoring Blue Devils in the second round. The Rams held the Sooners to only 42.0 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from beyond the arc. Rhode Island also forced Young and company to commit 14 turnovers. E.C. Matthews, who averaged 13.1 points in the regular season, top scored for the Rams with 18 points, while Jared Terrell (17.2 PPG) paced the team with 13. Rhode Island finished the regular season with an adjusted defensive rating of 96.9, which was good for 35th in the nation. The Rams also were then allowing only 67.9 points per game.
Betting on the Duke Blue Devils
Duke did what it was supposed to do in the first round, which was to rip Iona apart in a dominant 89-67 win. The Blue Devils had a field day on offense, as they had four of their five starters scoring in double figures. Marvin Bagley III led the way for Duke with 22 points and seven rebounds. He went 10-for-14 from the field. He should continue to have success against the Rams, who does not have anyone capable of covering the big man freshman in the paint. Bagley led the ACC in both points and rebounds with averages of 21.1 and 11.5 per game, respectively. Duke shot 53.7 percent from the field against the Gaels, which was reflective of their season shooting percentage of 49.3. Granted that the Rams have a solid offense, they will have a hard time minding all the scorers of Duke at the same time. Speaking of which, Duke is seventh in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency.
Duke moves on to the next round with a 79-67 win.
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