It’s March Madness, the greatest time of the year. Looking for some help with your bracket? Don’t know which teams to believe in, in this crazy college hoops season? We’ve got your back. We’re breaking down every first-round game in the field of 68, plus looking ahead at which teams will make the run to the Final Four.
2. Duke (27-8, 11-7/ACC)– The Blue Devils dealt with a lot this season, including player injuries, your rare coach injury, and the less-rare Grayson Allen being a punk.
Somehow, the Blue Devils navigated their way through all of it, picking up steam as the season came to an end and emerging as ACC Tournament champions. Does this mean that the team is all of a sudden ready for a long run through March Madness? It’s possible.
Duke has as much talent as any team in the nation, and they’re led by 6-6 sophomore guard Luke Kennard, who is one of the best shooters in America. When he’s on, the Blue Devils are awfully tough to beat.
6-8 freshman Jayson Tatum (16.9 ppg., 7.3 rpg) has also had a tremendous season, playing his way into top-five NBA Draft pick projections.
Allen, Amile Jefferson and Frank Jackson can also provide some scoring punch. This team is tough to stop for 40 minutes, scoring 80.7 points per game, which ranks 28th in the country.
So, how far will the Blue Devils advance? Well, the sky’s the limit, really (we won’t say the ceiling is the roof. That’s for UNC guys).
If the Devils can handle Baylor’s size in a potential Sweet 16 matchup, an Elite Eight game against Villanova at Madison Square Garden would be one of the most memorable in the tournament.
They should have enough to cruise to the Sweet 16, as they’re too talented to trip up against Troy, South Carolina or Marquette, with former Duke star Steve Wojciechowski on the bench.
We’ve got the Bears knocking them out there, but if you’re a Duke fan (we’re not), you could advance them to the final game without much of an argument.