NCAA Tournament: Duke vs. Iona fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, March 15
Game Time: 2:45 ET
Venue: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
All You Really Need To Know About Duke (26-7)
(ACC), RPI: 7. 2-seed
The talent is undeniably there to win it all – duh, it’s Duke – despite coming out flat in the ACC Tournament loss to North Carolina. Marvin Bagley leads a high-powered attack with five Blue Devils averaging in double figures for an O averaging 85 points per pop.
There’s not a lot of big defensive steals or turnovers forced, and other than Grayson Allen, free throws are an issue, but there’s no outrebounding this team on either end. The defense packs it in the interior, the offense moves it flawlessly for the easy shot, there are plenty of blocked shots to make teams bomb from outside.
All You Really Need To Know About Iona (20-13)
(MAAC), RPI: 107. 15-seed
The Gaels overcame a mediocre regular season to roll through the MAAC Tournament to get in. With a high-scoring offense and a balanced attack with five players averaging in double figures – and a good bench to rely on – this is a deep team with decent size.
It’s all about getting hot from the outside, leading the conference in threes and doing a wonderful job of moving the ball around to get the right look – it’s one of the more unselfish teams in the tournament. However, they can’t rebound, and they’d rather get into a shootout than bog down defensively.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s been fun.
Iona might have a fun offense, and it might have the size to battle inside and the ability to bomb from three, but it can’t rebound. The Blue Devil defense will step up against the three, and it’ll have way too many plays on the boards once the Gaels go cold for a stretch.
Iona will be active early, and it’ll create a buzz, but as the game goes on, the rebounding margin will grow, and Duke will pull away.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Duke 84, Iona 65
Line: Duke -20, o/u: 156
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle