The No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers survived a late surge from No. 13 seed Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Thursday, while the No. 5 seed Duke Blue Devils hammered the No. 12 seed Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The winner of this contest will advance into the Sweet 16.
Saturday’s game will get started at 2:40 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS. Duke is a 3-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook with the total set at 128.5.
No. 4 Tennessee: 24-10 (11-7 SEC)
First-round result: 58-55 win over No. 13 Louisiana
KenPom rating: 7 Overall, 62 Offense, 2 Defense
NET ranking: 4, (7-7 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Santiago Vescovi (12.6 PPG)
Key stat: The Vols were 22-8 in their first 30 games but dropped two of their last four since point guard Zakai Zeigler went out with a torn ACL.
Tennessee held on to beat Louisiana despite putting together a poor shooting performance. The Volunteer shot 4-of-16 (25%) from beyond the arc and connected on just 12-of-21 (57.1%) from the free throw line.
The Vols made it past Louisiana despite the team’s top scorer Santiago Vescovi putting up just three points and attempting just three shot attempts in 27 minutes.
Watch for the Vols to go all out on the defensive end of the floor where they rate second in KenPom adjusted efficiency, especially without Zeigler running the offense.
No. 5 Duke: 27-8 (14-6 ACC)
First-round result: 74-51 win over No. 12 Oral Roberts
KenPom rating: 17 Overall, 41 Offense, 15 Defense
NET ranking: 16, (5-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Kyle Filipowski (15.1 PPG)
Key stat: Jeremy Roach scored 23 points in the last two games and hit 20 of his last 21 free throw attempts.
The Blue Devils jumped all over Oral Roberts on Thursday night with a 15-0 lead eight minutes into the game. Duke increased its winning streak to 10 games and shot 48.4% from the floor including 6-of-16 shooting from beyond the arc.
Kyle Filipowski is the team’s best player but wasn’t needed much in Thursday night’s contest. He played 26 minutes and scored just six points with nine rebounds and four steals.
Watch for Filipowski to be far more involved in this matchup as he shot 58.5% from the floor and averaged 20.3 points over the last four games prior to the win over Oral Roberts.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Duke -3
Point total: 128.5
Moneyline: Duke -150, Tennessee +130
Against The Spread Pick: Duke -3
Point total pick: Under 128.5
Pick to Win: Duke
Tennessee isn’t the same team without Zeigler running the show as we’ve seen in the four games without him on the floor. The Vols are running into a Duke team that hasn’t lost in more than a month, and the Blue Devils may run away with this one for a double-digit victory. Tennessee knows its best chance to win is to lock down defensively and shorten the game, which is great for the under in this spot.