NCAA Tournament Preview: Duke

Submitted by Tim on March 20th, 2011 at 11:28 AM

The Essentialsdukelogo.gif

WHAT 8 Michigan v. 1 Duke
WHERE Charlotte, NC
WHEN 2:40PM
THE LINE Michigan +9.5
KenPom: Michigan +11 (13% win)
TELEVISION CBS.

"More like Puke." "More like White Devils." etc.

Shock the World.

Tempo-Free Breakdown

If you need an explanation of the stats, check out Ken Pomeroy:

Michigan v. Duke: National Ranks
Category Michigan Rank Duke Rank Advantage
Mich eFG% v. Duke Def eFG% 44 7 D
Mich Def eFG% v. Duke eFG% 145 18 DD
Mich TO% v. Duke Def TO% 16 98 M
Mich Def TO% v. Duke TO% 242 30 DDD
Mich OReb% v. Duke DReb% 323 192 DD
Mich DReb% v. Duke OReb% 62 80 M
Mich FTR v. Duke Opp FTR 343 34 DDDD
Mich Opp FTR v. Duke FTR 36 195 MM
Mich AdjO v. Duke AdjD 37 2 D
Mich AdjD v. Duke AdjO 28 4 D

Difference of more than 10 places in the national rankings get a 1-letter advantage, more than 100 gets a 2-letter advantage, more than 200 gets a 3-letter advantage, etc.

Have I made the "hide ya kids, hide ya wife" joke too many times yet? Yes? Darn. Well anyway, Duke is really good at the basket-ed ball.

Guard Nolan Smith has been their most-frequently deployed player this year, but with the return of the nation's #2 freshman (as a recruit) Kyrie Irving, the guard play may be less of a Smith monopoly. He's an efficient shooter and a very good assist man.

In the frontcourt, Kyle Singler and the Plumlees are all over 6-8, and they're the main reason Duke is 6th in the nation in effective height. Despite that height, Duke is a good-not-great rebounding team. Deploy the VOGRIT.

Unlike Tennessee, Duke has no obvious weaknesses. Which, duh, that's why they're a 1-seed instead of the worst 9-seed in history. Michigan is going to have to shoot the lights out, and hope Duke doesn't do a great job of same. Without playing a near-perfect defensive game (and getting a bit of luck), Michigan probably can't win.

Elsewhere

Dylan has been rockin' it all week at UMHoops. Press conference video and transcript, more video, and of course The Preview. Very in-depth, so check it out. GBMW previews.

Hardaway faces.

Predictions

Michigan is as hot as any team in the country, but Duke is Duke. As noted above, this is going to require a near-perfect performance or a very healthy dose of luck for the Wolverines to emerge victorious. I think Matt Vogrich plays double-digit minutes and gets a fair number of MANBOUNDs, and that Darius Morris finishes with a more impressive statistical day than either of Duke's star guards. HOWEVA, Michigan's bigs have trouble staying out of foul... uh... trouble, and Duke pulls away late in the game. The Blue Devils win it, 75-62.

Prove me wrong, Blue.

Comments

aiglick

March 20th, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

If Duke is a better version of Illinois we may not have to worry much about foul trouble. They are a jump shooting team as are we so unless either side decides to start fouling jump shooters we may be ok. We'll know in about 3-5 hours.

mmiicchhiiggaann

March 20th, 2011 at 11:48 AM ^

Win or lose I am actually pretty pumped about playing Duke today as opposed to a medoicre team. The reward of winning against a team like Duke right now gives us an amazing opportunity.