The late Saturday Elite 8 matchup is between the Duke Blue Devils and the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, March 26th at 8:49PM ET. This game is being played at the Chase Center in San Francisco, CA. Maybe Steph Curry will make an appearance again!
In coach K’s final year coaching college basketball, of course he was going to make the Elite 8. Kicking myself for some of my bracket choices, but here we are. Duke is one win away from going to the Final 4, and their opponent in Arkansas was nice enough to take out the number 1 seed in the entire tournament.
Looking at this Elite 8 showdown, it is no surprise to see Duke as the favorite. They are currently 3.5 point favorites, with the over/under at 146.5.
It makes sense why Duke is the favorite here. Arkansas might have taken down Gonzaga, but Duke is still with incredible talent and also coming off an impressive victory of their own.
A lot of people, including myself, expected the Duke offense to struggle against Texas Techs number 1 ranked defense in all of college basketball. Texas Tech plays elite defense that requires offenses to beat them with strategy and thought as opposed to talent and athleticism.
Duke, with how good they are, had struggled against these types of defenses so far this season. Well, all it took was one half of basketball and Duke passed this test with flying colors. After only scoring 29 points in the 1st half, Duke exploded in the 2nd half with 49.
Duke went the final 9 minutes of the game without missing an entire shot! It was very impressive, especially how in which they scored. It required ball movement, crisp passing, and then, of course, shot-making ability. Duke always had the talent, but in the 2nd half against Texas Tech they had the brains as well.
While it is unlikely Duke goes essentially an entire quarter of the game without missing a shot, they definitely put Arkansas on notice with how impressive they were on offense.
Arkansas just beat the number 3 ranked offense in the NCAA, and their reward is going against Duke and their 2nd ranked offense. Led by JD Notae, Arkansas has the ability to slow Duke down, but it is going to require another top-notch defensive performance.
Arkansas, with the 11th ranked defense, did a good job of never letting Gonzaga get comfortable. They were always pressing up against the ball-handler, and forced Gonzaga into 15 turnovers. They were aided by an off night from deep from Gonzaga, who only shot 23.8% from 3 in this game, but their defense also had a lot to do with that.
So, does Arkansas have another upset in them? Well, I think so! I like Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman to come up with another impressive game-plan that can slow Duke down enough.
I also just find it hard to believe that Duke is going to go a full 9 minutes without missing an entire shot against another top-tier defense. I love this bet at +155 on Caesars Sportsbook.
Duke vs Arkansas Pick:
My official March Madness Elite 8 betting pick is Arkansas moneyline. This can be bet on Caesars Sportsbook at +155 odds.