Elite Eight Preview: Duke vs. Louisville

After Syracuse and Wichita State (shockingly) busted more brackets and booked their tickets to Atlanta, where the Final Four awaits, Michigan, Florida, Louisville, and Duke all hope to punch their tickets to the Final Four on the second day of Elite Eight action. Now, it’s time to predict the second Elite Eight matchup of the day in Duke vs. Louisville.

(2) Duke Blue Devils vs. (1) Louisville Cardinals

How Duke Wins

Offense is to Duke as spinach is to Popeye. The Blue Devils run as its offense runs, there’s no doubt about that, and scoring just about 80 points per game and shooting nearly 50% from the field, the offense will need a big day, especially against Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals, who give up just 58 points per game. Can they penetrate the vaunting force that is Louisville’s D? Of course. Duke has the perfect mix of perimeter offense and weapons in the post. Seth Curry, Quinn Cook, and Rasheed Sulaimon lead a backcourt that shoots 40% from behind the arc, 5th in the country. The dynamic

Duke's record with Ryan Kelly in the lineup: 21-1. Try stopping that.

Duke’s record with Ryan Kelly in the lineup: 21-1. Try stopping that.

Dukies also boast a 1.36 assist-to-turnover ratio, 17th in the nation. Their underrated frontcourt can penetrate the Cardinals as well. Mason Plumlee has had a breakout season, averaging 17 points and 10 boards. Forward Ryan Kelly has been a huge X-factor for the Blue Devils this year as well. In fact, Kelly, who missed 13 games with a foot injury, has been the most influential player on any team in the country, as Duke has lost just one game this year with Kelly playing. Kelly also stretches the floor, as a player who can dominate in the paint and shoot 44% from three-point range. And let’s not forget that roaming the Blue Devil sideline is Mike Krzyzewski, arguably the greatest college basketball coach of all time. If Duke can use its strengths (offensive efficiency, three-point shooting, spreading the floor, attacking the paint) to its advantage, Coach K may very well be headed to his 12th Final Four.

How Louisville Wins

Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals are the number-one overall seed in the tournament for a reason. The Cardinals, who are on a 13-game win streak, boast the nation’s second-best turnover differential margin and average 11 steals per game. If the havoc-wreaking Cardinals have anything to say, Duke will have a rough time getting the ball down the court. Duke thrives in the half-court offense, but Louisville will certainly make this a full-court game. Russ Smith and Peyton Sive will dictate the game and dominate Duke’s backcourt, as they are two of the most dynamic offensive and defensive players in the country, with Smith

Peyton Siva and the Louisville backcourt has been causing all sorts of headaches for the opposing offense.

Peyton Siva and the Louisville backcourt has been causing all sorts of headaches for the opposing offense.

averaging 19 points per game and both averaging two steals per game. The backcourt doesn’t operate on its own, though. Gorgui Dieng, averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds per game, can overpower both Kelly and Plumlee. In addition to their stars, Louisville boasts a highly-dependable supporting cast, led by Kevin Ware, Luke Hancock, Chase Behanan, and Wayne Blackshear, a quartet that delivers 30 points per game. Louisville’s recipe to win: Make it a full-court game, win the turnover battle, and dominate the paint, three aspects of the game that they have consistently mastered all year.


21 years since the now infamous “Christian Laettner game” (the last tournament meeting between Pitino and Coach K), Pitino will finally get the better of Krzyzewski. The Cardinals defense is much too opportunistic and suffocating and their mix of a near-perfect backcourt and a forceful frontcourt make them an offensive unit nearly impossible to defend. Louisville wins.

Louisville 79, Duke 65


29 thoughts on “Elite Eight Preview: Duke vs. Louisville

  1. Wow, I don’t see a Coach K team losing by 14. Four months ago Duke beat Louisville! Louisville seems to have responded well to the loss of Kevin Ware — that might give them extra motivation in the 2nd half. We shall see!

  2. Someone essentially help to make seriously
    posts I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and
    so far? I surprised with the research you made to create this actual
    post amazing. Magnificent job!

  3. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for
    your weblog. You have some really great posts and I feel I
    would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

  4. Terrific work! Thiis is the kind of information that are meant to be shared across the
    web. Shame on the search engines for now nott positioning this post
    upper! Come on ovber and seek advice from my web site
    .Thank you =)

  5. I am extremely inspired along with your writing skills as smartly as with the structure for
    your blog. Is that this a paid theme or did you customize it your self?
    Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this
    one these days..

  6. Attractive component to content. I simply stumbled
    upon your website and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing in your feeds and even I success you get admission to persistently rapidly.

  7. Good post. I learn some thing challenging on distinct blogs daily.
    It will always be stimulating to read content of excellent writers
    like you. I’d choose to make use of some content in my small weblog
    if you do not mind. Naturally I’ll provide a link
    on your own internet weblog. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said
    “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell
    to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

  9. Situated in Rochester, Ny, 5LINX continues to be recognized by numerous vacation organizations for their achievement and ideal want
    to the reputable home business opportunity business.
    I am just not chatting for you concerning inexpensive qualified
    prospects from potential customers that counter an answer to almost everything.
    To understand this, you need to fully grasp firsthand its close relation with efficiency.

  10. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I find this topic to be really one thing that I think I’d never
    understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very vast for me.
    I am having a look ahead in your next post, I will try to get
    the dangle of it!

  11. At this time it seems like WordPress is the top blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  12. The Market Study and Talking to division of O’Connor & Affiliates provides
    information essential to make choice to business real estate
    experts. The achievement of your own company is dependent upon how cautiously it’s
    routines have already been planned and just how well
    the program has been performed. Continuous tension can frequently imply other circumstances
    that could pose a danger for your business.

  13. But if you have onee of the most coveted components of paper in your hands at that certain situation, all you could should do is enter the venue and still hage an exilerating game tto
    watch. And Seattle Seahawks tickets are some of the available products online which
    you ccan buy handily. You can buy your ticket even for the complete season of
    the Seahawks’ games.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s