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West Region: Duke vs Oregon Sweet 16 Preview

The West Region concludes its Thursday night round of the Sweet 16 when the No. 4 seeded Duke Blue Devils meet the No. 1 seeded Oregon Ducks. The current line has Oregon favored by 3 points with the over/under point total sitting a 156.5.

In its past 10 games played overall, Duke is 6-4 straight up and 3-6 against the spread. Oregon on the other hand is a perfect 10-0 SU and 6-4 ATS in its past 10 games played.

Oregon has matched its school record for victories in one season, but anything less than reaching the tournament’s Final Four will be considered a disappointment for the team. Duke is attempting to be the first team since the Florida Gators during 2006 and 2007 to win consecutive national titles.

Oregon’s hopes for a title were given a new life after they trailed with just minutes remaining in their game against St. Joseph’s. However, the Ducks railed and went on to a 5-point win.

Duke knows what it is all about when it comes to flirting with danger. The Blue Devils allowed UNC Wilmington the No. 13 seed to hang close for the majority of the game. In its second game, Duke led Yale at halftime by 23 points but allowed the team to whittle the lead to just 6 points, before eventually winning by 7 points.

Duke has evolved a great deal since losing Amile Jefferson its star play down low. They now must rely on their outside shooting a great deal. When the shots fall, the team’s shortcomings become masked, but that does not happen all the time.

Grayson Allen leads Duke in scoring with an average of 21.8 points per game, while Brandon Ingram a standout freshman is second with an average of 17.1 per games while hauling down 6.8 rebounds. Marshall Plumlee only averages 8.4 points per game, but is averaging 8.7 rebounds.

Oregon plays very efficient offense, with four players averaging double-digit in scoring. The team’s frontcourt is its strongest offensive weapon with Dillon Brooks averaging 16.8 points per game with 5.6 boards and Elgin Cooke averaging 14.5 points and 5 rebounds per game.

Oregon has won each of its 25 games this season that it led at the half.

Oregon has blocked 214 shots that set a new school regard.

Prediction: Duke has had its problems in each of the first two games versus teams of much less talent. Oregon has played well and looks much stronger coming into this game and will give Duke some matchup problems down low. Lean on Duke covering, but Oregon outright.

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