Round No. 2 of the NCAA Tournament kicks off today, and Tennessee is set to appear in one of the most anticipated games of the day. The Volunteers will take on the Duke Blue Devils this afternoon in Orlando in a 4-5 matchup.
Duke crushed Oral Roberts in the opening round on Thursday, jumping out to a huge lead and never looking back. Tennessee established a big lead on Louisiana, but let the Ragin’ Cajuns come all the way back late. The Vols squeaked out a three point win to advance.
Duke is one of the hottest teams left in the tournament, winning ten straight games entering today. The Blue Devils won the ACC Tournament last week, beating Miami and Virginia on their way to the title.
“I think on paper they’re probably the biggest team in the tournament, and they make a great effort to go get there,” Rick Barnes said of Duke. “We’ve always believed that it’s a talent. It’s got to somewhat be in your DNA that you want to go get it like they do.
“They run really good offense. They space the floor well, and I think they know where their shots are coming from. So they’re ready to go get it, so that will be a big part of tomorrow’s game, but it’s a big part of every game. But again, as we watch film with our players, that was one of the big emphasis. We know that they’re going to come to the glass, they know we’re going to come to the glass, so I expect that to be a big part of the game.”
Today Duke draws a struggling Tennessee team, one that continues to search for answers following the loss of Zakai Zeigler to a torn ACL. The Volunteers are 6-7 over the last 13 games entering today.
Tennessee has been inconsistent all year on the offensive end. Today against Duke, they’ll have to find some offense to go along with their elite defense.
Duke ranks 16th overall on KenPom, sitting with the 40th ranked offense and 17th defense. Tennessee is down to 6th using the same metric, anchored by a second ranked defense. The Volunteers rank just 62nd in offense, however.
Duke remains a 3.5 point favorite entering the day, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.
How to watch
Location: Orlando, Florida
Time: 2:40 p.m. ET
Streaming: March Madness Online