Blue Devils win NCAA tournament opener

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the same way Duke didn’t lose its edge going from the regular season to ACC tournament, the Blue Devils stayed hot to start the NCAA tournament.

Fifth-seeded Duke blitzed 12th-seeded Oral Roberts 74-51 in a first round game on Thursday night in the Amway Center.

The Blue Devils (27-8) will play either No. 4 Tennessee or No. 13 Louisiana on Saturday with a trip to the Sweet 16 — and Madison Square Garden — on the line.

Jeremy Roach led Duke with 23 points, matching the career high that the junior guard set in the ACC championship game against Virginia. He made 9 of 17 shots.

The only other Blue Devil in double-figure scoring Dariq Whitehead, with 13 points as the freshman wing who spent five seasons at nearby Montverde Academy.

Kyle Filipowski was held to six points, though he did have nine rebounds, and was seen vomiting in the first half. He told reporters afterward that the pre-game meal didn’t agree with his stomach.

Duke made quick work of Oral Roberts (30-5) by scoring the game’s first 15 points. When the Blue Devils scored the first 10 points of the second half on five consecutive possessions, a 17-point halftime lead had morphed into a 50-23 lead.

The Golden Eagles made things just a little nervous for Duke in the second half, using an 11-0 run to cut the Blue Devils’ lead to 14 with 8:51 left.

Roach helped close things out, along with backcourt mate Tyrese Proctor. That duo combined for nine points in helping Duke go back up by 20 and cruise into the second round.

Duke didn’t score on its first three possessions and its first three shots all came from beyond the arc. That’s not the recipe for this team; what came next is, with the Blue Devils penetrating and scoring at the rim on the next four possessions.

When Roach drilled a 3-pointer at the 15:23 mark, Duke’s lead was 11-0 and Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills needed a timeout.

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Author : Devils Illustrated

Publish date : 2023-03-17 01:58:22

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Blue Devils win NCAA tournament opener  
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