Syracuse Basketball: Predictions, SU vs Duke (Sweet 16, March Madness)

The Mountaineers are sixth in the country in percentage of blocks per opponent shots while Villanova does not have a ton of true team size as Jay Wright's crew plays a lot of position-less basketball. Coach K's team was able to bully the Orange inside despite dealing with the pesky zone.

Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. made four clutch free throws down the stretch to help Duke hold off Syracuse 69-65 and land the Blue Devils in a 1 vs. 2 regional final against Kansas.

How insane were the first two rounds of this NCAA Tournament?

Meanwhile, Allen was quick to shoot the 3 in the second half.

Zach Smith added 14 points and five rebounds for Texas Tech, which trailed by as many as seven in the first half before closing the period on a 10-0 run. Despite admitting the mental block it seemed his team had when taking open shots, the change in type of game against Kansas is a welcome change: "We're definitely looking forward to it". Led by Naismith Trophy finalist Marvin Bagley III, the multi-talented 6-foot-11 potential No. 1 pick in June's National Basketball Association draft, the Blue Devils have won their two games in the tournament by a combined 47 points.

"It set the tone for me", Krzyzewski said.

Malik Newman led the Jayhawks (30-7) with 17 points in a one-time runaway that got much closer and, quite frankly, won't mean much to KU fans if their team can't finish the job in the Midwest Regional final.

"We were trying to get a steal and then foul", Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.

Marvin Bagley III (left) of Duke, dunking over Bourama Sidibe of Syracuse, had 22 points.

Duke has been very good on offense this year as they enter this contest ranked 8th in the nation in scoring, putting up 84.4 ppg, while also ranking 12th in shooting (49.4%), 55th in 3-point shooting (37.7%) and 189th in free throw shooting (70.9%).

No. 2 seed Duke (29-7) definitely had to earn it. "That was the most physically demanding, mentally draining 40 minutes we've played in a long time". They'll need some of that wizardry on Friday night if they're going to be the ones to topple the Blue Devils.

Syracuse snuck into the NCAA Tournament as an 11 seed before beating Arizona State in Dayton in a First Four matchup.

The Atlantic Coast Conference teams met February 24 in the regular season, with Duke posting a 60-44 home victory when both teams were held to season-low point totals.

Syracuse, the team that so many people thought didn't even belong in the NCAA Tournament, has finally been eliminated after a great run.

"Seriously, when you compete against these guys, the most enjoyable part is the preparation by watching their teams and learning about their teams through the week of preparation". With both teams utilizing a 2-3 zone, the game was played at a relatively slow pace. The spread is big, but Duke has the athletes to break the zone and Syracuse doesn't have the shooters to put up a big number.

It was a much-needed performance for Battle, especially with his two main counterparts, Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett, struggling. "And sometimes, just like for us, we're playing well". But before Battle could get off the potential game-tying 3-pointer, he was fouled by Allen.

  • Rosalie Stanley