Get ready, Duke fans, because starting March 17, the road to Phoenix, Arizona for the Final Four and National Championship will be on as Duke is getting hot at the perfect time to make a run. Coach K is doing what he does, as usual, but even more importantly this year, it seems he is putting supreme confidence in his talented freshmen, Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson, and Harry Giles. With that said, let’s take a look at Duke’s March Madness schedule and what they need to do to ultimately cut the net in Phoenix.
On Friday, March 17, Duke begins its path by facing off against the Troy Trojans. Originally, before the ACC tournament, Duke was most likely a four seed. Now, after winning four games in four days, something no team has ever done in the history of the ACC tournament, Duke has vastly improved their record by beating Louisville, North Carolina, and Notre Dame. Duke now stands as the hottest team in college basketball and with the impressive ACC tournament showcase, they propelled themselves into a two seed, making their journey to Phoenix much easier.
Duke shouldn’t have a problem in their first two rounds, as Troy should be its easiest test, followed by either facing South Carolina, who struggles to score, while Marquette can definitely score, but gives up a lot of points. A potential SMU/Baylor matchup could be in store in the Sweet 16 game, and if Duke were to move on, the reigning champs, Villanova, could be waiting for them in the elite 8.
Of course, it is March Madness, where upsets happen and anyone could have an off day, but purely looking at the schedule, with the way Duke is playing and the amount of talent, their real first game may not be until the elite 8, in which case, anything can happen from there on out.
Jayson Tatum is playing like a lottery pick, possibly even a number one pick, with his ability to avoid contact in the paint on the way to an easy lay-up, his sweet turn around fade away, or just spotting up from three. Grayson Allen is back to being his old self and with the way things are going, if he continues to play at this level, Duke is a legitimate National Champion caliber team. Luke Kennard can shoot it from anywhere and doesn’t need a lot of space.
Tatum will show how great he is and Kennard will shoot it well, as Duke has a great shot at bringing a sixth National Champions banner back to Durham, North Carolina.
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