clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Bracket & Predictions: Duke Blue Devils vs. Arizona Wildcats

This is the third Thursday game to be broadcast on CBS at 6:45 PM PT/9:45 PM ET by Verne Lundquist and Lesley Visser (sideline reporter). Click here for the full Sweet 16 schedule. Duke and Arizona survived close matchups with their opponents on Sunday. Who will come out on top in this matchup?

Let's take a look at both sides.

#1 Duke Blue Devils

Ken Pomeroy says ... 4th best offense, 3rd best defense. Runs one of the fastest tempos in the country. Great shooting team on both offense and defense (inside, outside, free throw line, you name it). Good at forcing teams into jump shots and holding onto the basketball. Decent at forcing steals.

The weaknesses with Duke are rebounding, particularly on the place they have to clean up as they struggle to get defensive rebounds. They also don't get to the free throw line a lot, although some of that may have to due with the number of blowouts they've been involved in this year.

#5 Arizona Wildcats

Ken Pomeroy says ... 18th best offense, 71st best defense, average tempo. Great shooting team, particularly from downtown, but also efficient inside. Excellent three point defense.

The weaknesses with Arizona is their interior defense. They're 281st in two point defense, which is likely to cause problems against a Duke team that can score from anywhere. Yesterday's game against Texas aside, Arizona also isn't typically good at forcing turnovers.

Prediction: They'll never admit it, but Duke has to be very happy with this draw rather than grabbing Texas. The Longhorns had the defense and athleticism to defend Duke; Arizona does not. The Wildcats are not a great rebounding team, the only potential advantage that could possibly be exploited against these Blue Devils. And Duke should be able to adjust to what happened to Texas, force the Wildcats off the three point line and funnel them inside to try and make twos. Even with the semi-away crowd they should face in Anaheim, Duke should be able to advance to the Elite 8.