The Duke Blue Devils certainly got a huge scare as they attempted to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, going right down to the last second against UCF. Now that they have gotten past that hurdle, against an opponent they were not all that familiar with, they now turn to a very familiar foe as they take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in the East regional, beginning on Friday night at 9:39 PM ET at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. The winner moves on to the Elite Eight.
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2019 March Madness Betting – Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Tech Hokies:
They have some work to do in that regard, as we take a look at the March Madness betting odds as they are posted at VietBet:
Duke Blue Devils -7.5
Virginia Tech Hokies +7.5
Over 144.5 points -110
Under 144.5 points -110
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2019 March Madness Betting – CJ’s Take on Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Sweet 16 Showdown:
This is unusual for this tournament, at least to this point, because these teams have met this season. Virginia Tech administered a 77-72 upset to the Blue Devils back on February 26. A couple of things about that game – it took place in Blacksburg, and Zion Williamson was not part of the Duke lineup, as he had suffered the Nike-related injury that took him out of action for six games.
Williamson is back, and he has scored 25 against North Dakota State and 32 against UCF. But the 77-76 win last weekend had to be a little too close for comfort. So the question arises – will he make all the difference as he is around this time against V-Tech, and will help Duke cover the spread?
Virginia Tech has been able to get by Saint Louis and Liberty in their first two tournament games, but this is a bit of a different challenge for them. But from one standpoint, it may offer some of the same. When playing Saint Louis, which had snuck into the Big Dance as the Atlantic 10 champion, they knew that they did not have to worry very much about the Billikens’ ability to hit three-pointers, or free throws, for that matter, and that allowed them to play defense accordingly.
Well, in this game they encounter a Duke team that on only very rare occasions has been able to really affect a game with its long-range marksmanship. In fact, the Blue Devils are just 329th in the nation in three-point shooting, and wisely, they don’t depend on that kind of thing. And they have also been disappointing at the line (68.7%), unlike the Hokies, who are a very sharp 76% (21st in nation).
Maybe the key here revolves around Virginia Tech’s ability to hit their three-pointers. And they have been awfully good at it too (39.5%). It isn’t going to be easy for them to convert points, and Duke will probably get more of the easy baskets. All that having been said, you have to know that with all the hype Zion and the Duke program get from the national press, especially form the TV pundits who seem to be in the Blue Devils’ pockets, this is the epitome of the “public” team. That gives you an opportunity to get the “best of it” in the number. And even though Coach K is cashing in on the “one and done” phenomenon, we would suggest that his counterpart, Buzz Williams, is every bit as resourceful. And now with Justin Robinson back in the rotation and contributing, there is probably no reason V-Tech couldn’t take this one down to the wire.
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