NCAA Tournament: Duke vs. UCF fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Sunday, March 24
Game Time: 5:15 ET
Venue: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC
All You Really Need To Know About Duke (29-5)
(ACC), NCAA NET Rank: 3. East 1-seed
Oooooooh, Duke blew away a 16-seed.
North Dakota State fought the good fight for just over a half, and then Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett went crazy, combining for 51 points in the easy win. The Blue Devils are normally awful from three – even though they’re not afraid to jack them up – but they hit 8-of-19 against the Bison. If they’re nailing their outside shots, then this tournament might be over.
The outside game is the only real question mark. That, and their mediocrity on the free throw line. They dominate on the inside – leading the nation in blocked shots – move the ball around well, and are active enough to be third in the nation in steals. They’re amazing, AND they have that Zion guy.
All You Really Need To Know About UCF (24-8)
(American Athletic), NCAA NET Rank: 30. East 9-seed
The veteran Knight team ripped apart VCU to start the game, survived a late run, and pulled off a terrific 73-58 win. Size turned out to be a big, big, literally big problem for the Rams, as 7-6 Tacko Fall came up with 17 rebounds as he dominated the interior, and the rest of the defense was amazing guarding on the outside. VCU only hit 6-of-26 threes, and UCF connected on 9-of-14.
Free throws are generally a problem, and there aren’t a whole lot of threes, but the defense is a killer allowing just 64 points per game. VCU couldn’t get back into it with any sort of a run – UCF has a way of making you play its style.
What’s Going To Happen
This has the upside to be entertaining. UCF isn’t going to buckle against Duke on the inside, and the defense is good enough to provide the pressure to bother the Blue Devil guards for a full 40 minutes.
It’ll be a fight, but Zion and company will go on an early second half spurt to pull away a bit, and that will be enough. The Knights won’t have the offensive pop to get over the hump in an entertaining second round game.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Duke 71, UCF 64
Line: Duke -13.5, o/u: 145
ATS Confidence: 2
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle