Duke and Arkansas will meet tonight in this Elite Eight matchup in San Francisco. This isn’t the matchup the experts anticipated in this game, as the Razorbacks took down Gonzaga, holding them to only 68 points.
However, Duke survived a close game against the tough Texas Tech defense in an exciting 78-73 victory and now has a chance to go to another Final Four.
Both teams had disappointing ends to their regular seasons before making it to the tournament. Arkansas lost to Tennessee in their final regular-season game and then were favorites in the SEC Tournament, only to be defeated by Texas A&M. Duke lost to North Carolina in their final game at home and then to Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament.
The Razorbacks have made it this far in the tournament and have counted on their defense to help win games all season. They held one of the top offenses in the country to just 68 points in their victory on Thursday night against Gonzaga. JD Notae had 21 points and six assists to lead Arkansas as they held the Bulldogs to 37.5% shooting from the field in the game.
Notae has been the team leader, averaging 18.5 points, 3.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Jaylin Williams leads the Razorbacks in rebounds, with 9.8 per game and blocks, with 1.1 per contest. Stanley Umude has also been solid this season and averaged 11.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per matchup.
The Blue Devils played their best game of the tournament on Thursday as they made some big plays down the stretch to win over Texas Tech. They shot 51.9% from the field as Paolo Banchero led five players in double figures for the Blue Devils with 22 points. Mark Williams added 16 points and eight rebounds in the victory.
Freshman Paolo Banchero has carried this young Duke team all season long and leads them with 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Wendell Moore leads the team in assists with 4.5 and steals, with 1.4 per game. Mark Williams is the leader in blocks with 2.9 per contest.
The Razorbacks are 12-4-1 against the spread in their last 17 games, and the total has gone over in seven of their previous nine games.
Duke is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven contests, and the total has gone over in eight of their last nine games overall.
The Blue Devils have one of the youngest teams in the tournament, while the Razorbacks are one of the most experienced. However, Duke has a lot of firepower, and Arkansas may also have problems dealing with their height in this matchup.
Godds Pick/Prediction: The Blue Devils will win, and the total goes over.