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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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    01/30/2023 6:45 AM

Elite 8 Betting Odds Duke Blue Devils vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Free Pick

The top-seeded Duke Blue Devils take on the second-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs in the South Regionalfinals today with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The game is scheduled for a 5:05 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the betting odds for the game have Duke favored by a close margin to pick up the victory.

Duke and Gonzaga finished with a combined six losses this season, and this is the matchup everyone wanted to see from the South Region. The Blue Devils and Bulldogs were the top two seeded teams in the region and have looked good on the offensive end of the floor heading into this game. Duke drilled both Robert Morris and San Diego State before playing a great defensive game against Utah in the last round. Gonzaga has cruised in all three of their games, beating North Dakota State, Iowa and UCLA by double digits in each game.

Gonzaga has the size and athleticism to match up with the Blue Devils. It's the first Elite Eight for the Bulldogs since 1999, a bit different than the success of Duke over the years. This is Mark Few's best team and the interior play of Przemek Karnowski and Domantas Sabonis dominated the game against UCLA. The battle between those two and Duke big man Jahlil Okafor should play a major factor in this one tonight. Okafor has been very good in the tournament as no team the Blue Devils have played has been able to corral him in the paint, although Utah did a very good job at keeping Okafor to just six points in 32 minutes of play with their tough defense.

Duke senior Quinn Cook has been a guiding force with his play on the perimeter. Cook connected for seven of eight free throw against Utah, which proved to be big for the Blue Devils. Tyus Jones was huge with 15 points against Utah, Justise Winslow led everybody with 21 points. Winslow was a crucial key to the success of Duke in the win for the Blue Devils, stepping up when both Jones and Okafor were the the focal point of Utah's defense.

Guard play will be huge in this game tonight and Kevin Pangos will be the key for Gonzaga. He's scored in double digits in all three games for the Bulldogs and his senior leadership will be critical in tough times tonight for the Bulldogs.

This game has a chance to be one of the best of the tournament. Both Duke and Gonzaga match up well on both ends of the floor, but Okafor's play on the inside could be the difference. Utah kept him under control for most of the game and Gonzaga has the bigs to battle him as well. This one will be a good one.

Free Pick: Duke 78, Gonzaga 76

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  • Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

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