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No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Cal State Fullerton: Preview, picks for first round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Duke Blue Devils and Cal State Fullerton Titans meet at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams.

The final NCAA Tournament for Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski will get started as the No. 2 seed, and they’ll take on the Cal State Fullerton Titans in Round 1 on Friday, March 18th from Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. The game will tip-off at 7:10 p.m. ET and will air on CBS. Duke is an 18-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 2 Duke: 28-6 (16-4 ACC): At-Large

KenPom rating: 12 Overall, 7 Offense, 44 Defense
NET ranking: 13, (6-2 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Paolo Banchero, 17.0 points per game
Key stat: Paolo Banchero scored in double digits in all but two games this season.

Coach K is retiring at the end of the season and this will be his final NCAA Tournament that he coaches in. The Blue Devils came up short in the ACC tournament and will look to cut down the nets for Coach K, one last time.

Watch for Duke to defend Cal State Fullerton well from three-point range as the Blue Devils allow just 31.4% of opponent 3-pointers to go in, which ranks No. 1 in the ACC.

No. 15 Cal State Fullerton: 21-10 (11-4 Big West): Auto-bid

KenPom rating: 149 Overall, 144 Offense, 164 Defense
NET ranking: 153 (0-2 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: EJ Anosike, 16.5 points per game
Key stat: EJ Anosike made all six shots from the floor and knocked down 10-of-14 free throw attempts in the conference title game.

CSUF held off Long Beach State in the final seconds of the Big West Tournament title game 72-71, and they’re dancing for the first time since the 2017-18 season. Cal State Fullerton followed a two-game losing streak by winning each of their final four heading into Friday’s game.

Watch for the Titans to try everything they can to get to the line where they rank No. 2 in the Big West in free throw attempts and free throw percentage.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Duke -18.5
Point total: 145.5
Moneyline: Duke -2500, Cal State Fullerton +1200

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Cal State Fullerton +18.5
Point total pick: Over 145.5
Pick to Win: Duke

The Blue Devils might be the most talented team in the country, but their defense is probably not where Krzyzewski would like for it to be at this point of the season. Cal State Fullerton’s slow style of offense should help keep them within this large point spread, but we’re still taking the over because Duke is just that good on the offensive end, and they’ll give up enough to the Titans for this total to surpass 143.5 points.

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