Tag:Jeff Borzello
Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 7:46 pm
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St. Mary's & Murray St. highlight BracketBusters

Unbeaten Murray State faces a stiff test when Saint Mary's comes to visit during BracketBusters weekend. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

BracketBusters weekend has lost some of its luster over the past few seasons, as it basically amounts to a random non-conference game for most of the teams involved. However, this season has a chance to break the mold. There are multiple top-25 teams in the event, plus a few others with legitimate at-large potential. 

February, February 17

  • Northern Iowa at VCU (7 p.m., ESPN)
  • Valparaiso at Loyola Marymount (9 p.m., ESPNU)

Saturday, February 18

  • Drexel at Cleveland State (11 a.m., ESPNU)
  • Wichita State at Davidson (Noon, ESPN/ESPN2)
  • Buffalo at South Dakota State (1 p.m., ESPNU)
  • Akron at Oral Roberts (2 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2)
  • Drake at New Mexico State (3 p.m., ESPNU)
  • Nevada at Iona (4 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2)
  • Old Dominion at Missouri State (5 p.m., ESPNU)
  • Saint Mary’s at Murray State (6 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2)
  • UNC-Asheville at Ohio (7 p.m., ESPN3)
  • Texas-Arlington at Weber State (8 p.m., ESPN3)
  • Long Beach State at Creighton (10 p.m., ESPN2)

Best Games

No. 18 Saint Mary’s at No. 10 Murray State

What’s at Stake? Murray State is likely to be undefeated heading into this game, while Saint Mary’s is playing like a team that could win a game or two in March. The matchup of Matthew Dellavedova and Isaiah Canaan is going to be tremendous. Is this where the Racers’ first loss comes? Both teams are probable at-large selections.

Long Beach State at No. 13 Creighton

What’s at Stake? Doug McDermott and Creighton have become one of the nation’s best teams this season, with McDermott putting up All-American numbers. Long Beach State has a couple of good wins, but a road victory here could really help the 49ers’ at-large resume. Expect plenty of points in this one.

Nevada at Iona

What’s at Stake? Not a ton, to be honest. Both teams can really score the basketball, and the guard matchup of Deonte Burton and Scott Machado should be fun to watch. If Nevada does run the table in the WAC, this game could come in handy come Selection Sunday. Iona has had some hiccups, but this is a must-win anyway.

Worst Draws

Wichita State at Davidson: Some people think Wichita State could be the best non-BCS team in the country, and the Shockers are a likely NCAA team. But playing against Davidson will not help their resume – and could only hurt them if they stumble a couple more times.

Akron at Oral Roberts: Oral Roberts is steamrolling through the Summit, sitting comfortably with a 12-0 record. If the Golden Eagles do run the table in the league and lose in the championship, a game against Long Beach State or Wichita State would have come in handy. Instead, they get Akron.

Other Storylines

The Matt Norlander game: My colleague will watch Buffalo and South Dakota State over and over again. It features two of his favorite players in the country, Javon McCrea and Nate Wolters.

Lack of MAAC love: Iona didn’t get a resume-booster, while fellow first-place teams Loyola (Md.) and Manhattan didn’t get anything resembling a television game.

Weird Colonial treatment: League-leader George Mason was relegated to facing Lamar, while three teams behind the Patriots are in TV games.

Best individual matchup?: The battle on the perimeter between Ohio’s D.J. Cooper and UNC-Asheville’s J.P. Primm and Matt Dickey will be fun to watch.

MVC/CAA rivalry: Past BracketBusters have featured some high-level matchups between teams in the Colonial and Missouri Valley. This year, we get Northern Iowa vs. VCU and Old Dominion vs. Missouri State. Not the same.

Defensive battle: Cleveland State and Drexel won’t wake you up if you’re tired on Saturday morning. However, the game will feature two of the better defensive teams in the country.

Don’t blink: On the surface, UT-Arlington and Weber State might not tickle your fancy. However, Weber’s Damian Lillard is one of the best players in the country and UT-Arlington really gets up and down the court. Should be fun.

Game not to overlook: Valparaiso could be a threat in the Horizon heading into the final month, only a half-game out of first place. Meanwhile, Loyola Marymount has surprised some and already has a nice collection of wins.

Potential conference tournament spoilers? Neither Drake nor New Mexico State has any at-large hopes, and they won’t be the favorites to win their leagues. However, both teams have some pieces and could potentially make noise in the conference tournaments.

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Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:11 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:49 pm
 

Win over SDSU boosts Colorado State's NCAA hopes

Colorado State's win over San Diego State gives the Rams legitimate at-large hopes heading into the final month. (AP)

By Jeff Borzello

It’s no secret that schedule-based numbers like the RPI don’t always agree with performance-based metrics from people like Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin. This year, Colorado State is the prime example of the dichotomy.

The Rams have the No. 18 RPI and No. 3 SOS in the country, putting them squarely in the NCAA tournament conversation. However, KenPom.com has them at No. 107 and Sagarin ranks them No. 91.

“Our numbers are fascinating,” Colorado State head coach Tim Miles said.

As a result, many people have doubted the Rams as a legitimate at-large possibility this season. Road losses to Wyoming by 19 and New Mexico by 32 didn’t help ease those concerns, and neither did a 21-point home defeat to Southern Miss.

Over the weekend, though, Colorado State opened plenty of eyes with a dominant home win over San Diego State, 77-60. The win finally gave the Rams a marquee win for their at-large resume, and also puts them back in the Mountain West title hunt.

“Our guys always thought that we would better this year than last year, and no one else thought that,” Miles said, referencing his 19-13 campaign last season. “A win like [the one over SDSU] solidifies that in our thinking, and hopefully in others.”

Colorado State can start thinking about its NCAA tournament resume now. The Rams are 13-6 overall, with a 3-2 record in MWC play. The computer profile is outstanding, as mentioned above, with a top-20 RPI and top-five SOS. On the plus side, they have the win over San Diego State, along with top-100 victories over Colorado and Denver.

On the flip side, they are just 2-5 away from home and 3-6 against teams ranked in the top 100 of the RPI. The margin in some of the losses is also a concern.

“We’re not a dominating team,” Miles said. “We don’t play defense all that well; we’re spurty. So, obviously because of lack of consistency on the defensive end, we’ve been doubted.”

The Rams can erase even more of the detractors on Wednesday at UNLV. A win there would force everyone to take Colorado State seriously heading into the final eight games. Five of the final nine are on the road, but the Rams’ hopes for a league title and at-large bid will come down to a three-game stretch in late February: home vs. New Mexico, at San Diego State and home vs. UNLV.

If Colorado State is within striking distance in three weeks, winning two of three during that stretch could really boost the profile. The win over San Diego State was a start, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

“You’ve got to keep doing it,” Miles said.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:34 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 2:34 pm
 

Stony Brook finally rids itself of BU demon

Stony Brook snapped a five-game losing streak to BU and became the America East favorite. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Boston University has been Stony Brook’s kryptonite the past three seasons, beating the Seawolves five consecutive times. The Terriers knocked Stony Brook out of the last two America East tournaments, including the title game a season ago.

The Seawolves finally broke through against BU on Friday night, with a 66-57 victory. Stony Brook is now 8-1 in the league – one game ahead of BU and Vermont.

Taking sole possession of first place in the conference by beating a team that had their number for the past few seasons wasn’t lost on the Seawolves.

“We needed this win bad,” junior Tommy Brenton said. “Coach has been reminding us about that streak. We knew we had to play harder, play more defense, play better offense.”

On paper, Stony Brook has been the best team in the America East for much of the season. With the BU cloud hanging over its head, though, it was tough to name the Seawolves the favorite going forward.

That’s no longer a problem.

“It’s still halfway through,” Brenton said. “We’ll take it game-by-game, not relax and slip-up.”

“We’re confident,” head coach Steve Pikiell added. “Too confident. We’re always on them. They’re veterans.”

The road to an America East automatic bid now goes through Stony Brook, and the Seawolves have the pieces to make life difficult for any future opponent. It starts with their defense. They’re now 11-0 when holding teams to fewer than 60 points, and they lead the conference in rebound margin (also rank No. 12 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage). They force turnovers, they don’t foul and they defend the perimeter very well.

They’re also physical and utilize gang rebounding and help defense.

“To prepare for them, you have to get your team to get ready to go,” Boston University head coach Joe Jones said. “It’s more about them collectively than about one guy.”

Against BU, Stony Brook had to constantly bounce back. The Terriers hit 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the opening minutes, getting out to an early lead. In the second half, they went on 17-0 run midway through the period to take a four-point lead heading down the stretch. Stony Brook responded with a 19-6 run to end the game.

The past couple of years, would the Seawolves have had the strength to respond after a huge run?

“We get a little déjà vu when that happens,” said leading scorer Bryan Douger. “We were able to pull out of it. It shows a lot of character about our guys.”

The entire night showed how far the Stony Brook program has come in the last few years under Pikiell. There was not a single general-admission ticket sold for the game, as students and season-ticket holders packed the arena to capacity. The two student sections were nearly filled 45 minutes before the game to “Red-Out” BU.

If the Seawolves do reach the conference tournament title game again – and need to host it – they will have to play at a different on-campus arena. The current one holds just 1600; America East rules stipulate that title hosts need to have a capacity of 3000. Stony Brook’s bigger arena is currently under renovation, but it would be the site of the championship.

“It was a championship-caliber game,” Brenton said. “I’m sure we’ll see them soon.”

Only this time, Stony Brook will have already rid itself of the BU demon.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:54 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 11:54 am
 

Today's Specials: Texas needs a marquee win

J'Covan Brown and Texas will look to stay in front of Missouri tonight. The Longhorns could use a statement win. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

After a wild weekend that saw plenty of surprises, Monday provides something of a respite for everyone. With that said, there are a couple of key games.

Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP poll.

Best game: No. 2 Missouri at Texas (9 p.m., ESPN). This is a big game for both teams. Missouri is in the running for a No. 1 seed – even the overall top seed. Meanwhile, Texas needs a marquee win to solidify its at-large profile. Right now, the Longhorns’ best victories are over Temple and Iowa State. Texas has only lost one home game this season, so the potential is there for a win. To pull the upset, the Longhorns need to limit turnovers, knock down 3-pointers and also keep Ricardo Ratliffe off the offensive glass.

Second-best game: Pittsburgh at West Virginia (ESPN, 7 p.m.). The basketball version of the “Backyard Brawl” is always a physical, intense game. This season should be no different, as both teams need a win. West Virginia has lost back-to-back road games, to St. John’s and Syracuse, while Pittsburgh is looking to win its third in a row after an eight-game losing streak. Both teams need to protect the defensive glass, while West Virginia needs to get points inside. Pitt has to slow down Kevin Jones.

Another one to watch: Princeton at Penn (7 p.m.). If this were a decade ago, this game would be one of two that decided the league race. Now, it’s a battle to see which team remains within striking distance of Harvard. Penn is 2-0 in the league, while Princeton suffered a loss on Friday and sits at 1-1. Princeton defends the 3-point arc extremely well, so Zack Rosen and Penn need to attack the rim if it wants to win.

Guaranteed win: Tennessee Tech is arguably the Ohio Valley’s most talented team outside of Murray State, but the Golden Eagles have stumbled a few times in conference play. They shouldn’t have trouble on Monday night, playing host to SIU-Eduwardsville (8 p.m.). The Cougars have lost five in a row and are 3-13 in D-1 games.

Potential upset: Samford pulled off one of the more surprising wins on Saturday, handing Davidson its first Southern loss of the season. The Bulldogs now face Charleston, which has plenty of talent – can they pick up another upset (8 p.m.)? Samford has won four of five, while Charleston has lost four in a row. 

Three things to keep an eye on:

  1. The Atlantic Sun has a tight race at the top of the standings, with Belmont and Mercer tied. Tonight, Mercer plays at Florida Gulf Coast (7:05 p.m.), while Belmont hosts North Florida (8 p.m.). Third-place USC-Upstate heads to Jacksonville State (6:15 p.m.).
  2. Norfolk State remains undefeated in the MEAC, and the Spartans look to keep it going against Coppin State (8 p.m.).
  3. Mississippi Valley State sits comfortably at 8-0 in the SWAC, and the Delta Devils should cruise against Grambling (8:30 p.m.).
More College Basketball coverage
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 28, 2012 5:28 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 2:20 am
 

Night Court: Towson wins, Iowa State upsets KU

Clint Steindl (16 points) and Saint Mary's were a step ahead of BYU all night in the Gaels' 80-66 win. (AP)

By Jeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Syracuse holding off West Virginia with the help of referee Karl Hess. The Orange played their third consecutive game without big man Fab Melo (academics) and it was close most of the way. Bob Huggins' team had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Hess and the officiating crew missed a clear goaltending call from 'Cuse big man Baye Keita that could have sent the game to overtime. Huggins after the game when asked about whether it was a goaltend: "I know it was. I just saw the replay." 

Game of the Day, Vol. 2: Drake and Wichita State went into three overtimes, before the home Bulldogs finally put the Shockers away for good. Ben Simons helped Drake overcome an uneven performance from Rayvonte Rice en route to a 93-86 win in 55 minutes. 

Win to brag about: I was set to go with Marquette's come-from-behind road win at Villanova, but Iowa State's home win against Kansas was the most important in Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg's young coaching career. It snapped a 13-game losing streak against the Jayhawks and also may be just the resume victory that Iowa State will need come March in order to get on the right side of The Bubble. 

Win to brag about, Vol. 2: BYU was 99-7 at the Marriott Center heading into Saturday night's revenge game against Saint Mary's. The Cougars are now 99-8, after the Gaels went into BYU's building and throttled the Cougars, 80-66. Saint Mary's got off to a big lead in the first half, but BYU fought back to make it a nine point game. The Gaels didn't let them get any closer -- Saint Mary's is clearly the cream of the crop out West.

Loss to hide from: This one is easy. It's Buzz Peterson and UNC Wilmington falling to a Towson program that came into the game riding an NCAA-record 41-game losing streak. 

Loss to hide from, Vol. 2: Dayton looked like the best team in the Atlantic-10 last weekend when it blew out Xavier. This week, not so much. The Flyers played host to 3-18 Rhode Island -- and lost, 86-81.

Player who deserves improper benefits: UMass' long and talented big man Rapiael Putney has finally started to match production with his potential. Putney finished with 22 points, 10 boards and five steals in the Minutemen 72-59 victory over Saint Louis in Amherst. Derek Kellogg's team is now 16-5 overall and 5-2 in A-10 play -- which is atop the league. 

Player who also deserves improper benefits: Steven Pledger scored 30 minutes to lead Oklahoma to a 63-60 win at Kansas State -- the Sooners' second win over the Wildcats this season. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Villanova's Mouph Yarou needs to give Jay Wright more than 11 foul-ridden minutes -- and more than two points and four rebounds if the Wildcats are to do anything the rest of the season. 

Player who also does not deserve improper benefits: Weber State lost on a buzzer-beating 3-point by Idaho State's Kenny McGowan. The Wildcats likely wouldn't have been in that position, though, had Damian Lillard not shot 5-for-14 from the field -- getting held to far below his 24.8 points per game. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 1: With Towson getting into the win column, that leaves Binghamton as the lone D-1 team without a victory. 
  • 8: Duke big man Mason Plumlee had 15 points and 17 boards, which was the eighth time this season he's recorded a double-double. 
  • 878: Jim Boeheim's career victory total. It's also one shy of catching Dean Smith for third on the all-time list. 
  • 6: UNC Greensboro interim coach Wes Miller and his team have reeled off six consecutive wins and are now 6-4 in SoCon play. 
  • 8:22: Virginia did not score a field goal in the last eight-plus minutes, and only had four field goals in the entire second half, but still beat NC State, 61-60.
  • 33: Miami (Ohio) scored its first 33 points against Western Michigan on 3-pointers.
  • 12-0: Pittsburgh improved to 12-0 against top-10 opponents at the Peterson Events Center after its win over Georgetown.

Other notable results:

  • Florida took care of Mississippi State in Gainesville, 67-59. 
  • Vanderbilt held off a Middle Tennessee State team that came into the game with a 12-game winning streak. The good news for the Commodores is that Festus Ezeli had a season-high 21 points in the 84-77 victory. 
  • Marquette came back from 18 down and wound up getting an important road win at Villanova. Darius Johnson-Odom had 26 points and Jae Crowder finished with 20 points and 11 boards.
  • Alabama edged Arkansas in a game that Anthony Grant & Co. could ill-afford to lose. The Crimson Tide are 14-7 and 3-4 in SEC play. 
  • Oklahoma State followed up its big win over Missouri ... with a 15-point loss at Texas A&M.
  • Louisville held Seton Hall to six points in the first 13 minutes en route to a 60-51 win. Seton Hall has now lost four in a row.
  • Cincinnati lost its third in a row, this time at Rutgers, 61-54. The Scarlet Knights now have wins over Florida, UConn, Cincinnati and at Pitt.
  • Purdue's Robbie Hummel hit the go-ahead baseline jumper then contested the final shot defensively, as the Boilermakers beat Northwestern on the road. 
  • Illinois lost its third straight close game, falling at Minnesota in overtime.
  • Memphis made a nice comeback in the second half to beat Marshall at home, 83-76.
  • UCF followed up its big home win over Memphis with its second straight loss -- a 13-point defeat at home against Southern Miss.
  • Tony Wroten made plenty of big plays in the second half, none bigger than his block of Josiah Turner's lay-up at the buzzer, as Washington beat Arizona, 69-67.
  • UNLV seemed fatigued in overtime against Air Force, but the Runnin' Rebels came back to win, 65-63.
  • New Mexico rolled over TCU, 71-54.
  • Doug McDermott had 24 points to lead Creighton over Bradley, 73-59.
  • Davidson suffered its first Southern loss of the season, 77-74, to Samford. 
  • St. Francis (N.Y.) hammered Robert Morris on the road, moving to 8-2 in the Northeast. Not bad, considering they got off to a 3-8 start in non-conference play.
  • Temple and Xavier both won.
  • Kentucky will stay as the No. 1 team in the country on Monday, as the Wildcats dominated LSU.

Notes:

  • College of Charleston, just a day after Bobby Cremins announced he was stepping away for the rest of the season due to health reasons, lost against Wofford. Interim coach Mark Byington has a difficult task since he's taken over a group ravaged by injuries. 
  • UConn freshman Ryan Boatright was cleared to play Sunday against Notre Dame. 
  • Referee Karl Hess was working his 21st game in the past 28 days. It's inexcusable that the NCAA doesn't do something to take over -- and limit -- the officiating assignments. 
  • Arizona announced that Kevin Parrom has a broken foot and is out for the rest of the season.
  • Mississippi Valley State, Bucknell, Long Beach State, Nevada, Oral Roberts and Norfolk State all continued to stay unbeaten in conference play. 

On tap: 

  • Michigan at Ohio State, 1 p.m. - Trey Burke goes back home and plays against his former high school teammate, Jared Sullinger. 
  • Notre Dame at UConn, 12 p.m. - The Huskies get freshman Ryan Boatright back from his second NCAA suspension. 
  • Iowa at Indiana, 6 p.m. - The Hoosiers need this one to get back on track. 
  • Stanford at Cal, 8:30 p.m. - This one could help determine the Pac-12 regular-season champs. 
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:58 pm
 

Boatright cleared to play for UConn

By Jeff Borzello

Connecticut freshman guard Ryan Boatright will be eligible to play Sunday afternoon against Notre Dame, beat writer Kevin Duffy first reported on Saturday.

Boatright has missed the last three games as the NCAA reviewed his eligibility. He was also suspended for the first six games of the season after the NCAA found his former AAU coach, Reggie Rose, had purchased a plane ticket for Boatright.

Sources told Duffy that this investigation was for something different, but was sparked by the same source as the first investigation.

Boatright, a 5-foot-10 product of East Aurora (Ill.), provides an added weapon on the perimeter for Connecticut. The most explosive lineup for the Huskies includes Boatright and starting guards Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb.

Boatright was averaging 10.2 points and 3.1 assists before the suspension.

Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:48 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 9:16 pm
 

Controversial missed call preserves 'Cuse win

By Jeff Borzello

Some questionable calls that change the outcome of a game are judgment calls that could technically go either way.

The non-call on Syracuse center Baye Keita’s goaltending was not one of them.

With six seconds left and Syracuse leading by two, West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli grabbed an offensive rebound after Darryl Bryant missed a 3-pointer. He went up for what looked to be an easy follow – but Keita came out of nowhere and knocked it away after it hit the backboard.

Seemed like a clear call, but there was not a single whistle from the three-man crew of Karl Hess, Gene Steratore and Brian O’Connell. This wasn’t one of the goaltending calls where a shot kind of looks like it’s on the way down depending on the angle – this clearly hit the backboard first, before Keita swatted it away.

A contested Kevin Jones 3-pointer missed at the buzzer, as Syracuse escaped with a 63-61 win. Sure, there would have been six seconds left, even if the goaltending was called. Syracuse would have had a chance to win. That still doesn’t erase the fact it was a horrible missed call.

"It's inexcusable. It's inexcusable," head coach Bob Huggins said, according to RapidReporter Patrick Southern.

This kind of thing is only going to increase the complaints that referees are overworked. For example, let’s look at head official Karl Hess’ schedule for January, courtesy of Statsheet.com. 

  • January 1: Villanova at Marquette
  • January 2: Old Dominion at James Madison
  • January 3: Alabama at Georgia Tech
  • January 4: UTEP at Marshall
  • January 5: Louisiana-Monroe at Florida Atlantic
  • January 7: Miami (Fl.) at Virginia
  • January 9: Cincinnati at Georgetown
  • January 10: Florida State at Virginia Tech
  • January 11: Syracuse at Villanova
  • January 12: George Mason at Drexel
  • January 14: NC State at Wake Forest
  • January 15: Duke at Clemson
  • January 16: Louisville at Marquette
  • January 18: Old Dominion at Towson
  • January 19: Virginia at Georgia Tech
  • January 21: Connecticut at Tennessee
  • January 22: Samford at UNC-Greensboro
  • January 23: Drexel at William & Mary
  • January 25: Duke at Maryland
  • January 26: NC State at North Carolina
  • January 28: West Virginia at Syracuse

He’s had seven days off this month – and I’m assuming he’s traveled on at least four or five of them. Throw in the fact he’s refereeing some high-intensity basketball and it’s pretty clear he’s overworked.

Until that problem is taken care of, expect more of these calls.

Or, rather, don't expect any calls.

Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:47 pm
 

What is Duke's ceiling this season?



By
Jeff Borzello

Every season, it seems people like to pick on the weaknesses of Duke. Sometimes they’re justified; sometimes they’re not. This season, despite an 18-3 record after the Blue Devils’ close win over St. John’s on Saturday, there are myriad questions about Duke.

Which brings me to the question that matters come March: what is Duke’s ceiling this season?

Duke’s offense has improved in certain ways as the season has progressed, with Mason Plumlee becoming a legitimate presence the past couple of weeks. He had 23 points and 12 rebounds against Maryland, and 15 points and 17 rebounds against St. John’s. The benching of Austin Rivers before the Wake Forest game woke him up; he’s become a much more effective offensive player recently. Ryan Kelly is also averaging 14.7 points in his last three games. Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins can shoot.

It’s the weaknesses that worry people when it comes to the Blue Devils this season.

They can’t guard the perimeter whatsoever, and it becomes far more glaring when they play teams that can take them off the dribble. Fortunately for Duke, the ACC doesn’t have a ton of players who are consistent at beating defenders one-on-one. The Blue Devils allow too many open shots, they don’t force turnovers and they give up plenty of second chances.

Offensively, they don’t have anyone who can create their own shot, outside of Rivers. Tyler Thornton, Quinn Cook, Seth Curry and whoever else is running the point on a given night aren’t explosive playmakers, and Andre Dawkins is primarily a 3-point shooter. When the shot clock and game clock are winding down, there aren’t too many consistent options.

Moreover, is Plumlee going to be a threat night-in and night-out? He struggled mightily against Florida State, and his brother Miles has not been a factor on the glass on many occasions.

In the NCAA tournament, teams need guys who can guard the perimeter defensively and who can create shots in key situations on the offensive end. For the most part, Duke doesn’t have either one.

For Duke, matchups are going to be more of a factor for them in the NCAA tournament than most teams. If they go against a team that doesn’t have a ton of foot speed and quickness, they will be in much better shape.

Unfortunately for them, there aren’t too many elite teams that lack athleticism and speed. It’s tough to pinpoint an exact ceiling, but it’s likely short of the Final Four.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
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