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  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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    06/26/2022 4:05 PM

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Duke Blue Devils vs Utah Utes

The top-seeded Duke Blue Devils will take on the Utah Utes tonight in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The game is scheduled for a 9:45 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the NCAA Tournament Betting Odds for the game have the Blue Devils favored by a couple of buckets to pick up the victory.

Duke has looked impressive in their opening two games to the tournament, beating up on both Robert Morris and San Diego State the first two rounds. While both of those have been comfortable victories for the Blue Devils, it doesn’t mean tonight’s game will be lop-sided either. What was impressive, though, was the 19-point win by Duke over a very good defensive team in San Diego State last round. The Blue Devils looked like the better overall defensive team, though, holding the struggling offensive Aztecs to only 49 points.

Utah has been a nice defensive team themselves this season, ranking seventh in the country in efficiency and allowing less than 57 points per game, which was ninth-best nationally. They have length, size and athletic players all over the floor, so this matchup with Duke tonight should be a good one.

The Utes are led by Delon Wright, a versatile player that leads the team in points, assists and steals per game. Many might not have been able to see him play this season but will get a chance tonight. At 6-5, Wright is a good-sized guard and only Matt Jones has that type of size from Duke’s guards.

But both Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook are excellent players for the Blue Devils. The athleticism Duke has at the guard position is going to be overwhelming for Utah at times tonight, despite the Utes’ ability to play some pretty solid pressure defense.

The major factor for Duke tonight is player of the year candidate and legitimate big man Jahlil Okafor. The freshman phenom poured in 26 points against San Diego Staet and played much harder on both ends of the floor, especially after lolly-gagging around against Robert Morris and having coach Mike Krzyewski blast him. When Okafor is great, Duke is nearly impossible to beat.

This line is small because of Utah’s ability to play defense but the Blue Devils just crushed a similar defensive team in San Diego State. Look for Duke to play well on both ends of the floor, rebound and dominate on the interior.

Free Pick: Duke 78, Utah 65

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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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