Elite Eight – Baylor vs Duke
Duke and Baylor both destroyed their opponents in the Sweet 16. Expect a much closer result on Sunday when the Blue Devils and the Bears collide in the Elite Eight.
The Bears were all but assured a berth in the Elite Eight at halftime in their Sweet 16 meeting with St. Mary’s. After posting back-to-back upsets over Richmond and Villanova the Gaels’ magic finally ran out in the Sweet 16.
Baylor was a 5-point favorite at Bet365 in the game and easily covered the spread in a 72-49 rout of the Gaels. The Bears held St. Mary’s to an embarrassing 17 points in the opening half and held an insurmountable 46-17 lead at the break.
LaceDarius Dunn led the Bears with 23 points in 27 minutes on the floor. Tweety Carter netted 14 points, and Quincy Acy deposited 10 points in the blowout. Ekpe Udoh did a good job defending Gaels star Omar Samhan (15 points on 7-of-17 shooting), and he added eight points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Devils also had an easy time in the Sweet 16 against Purdue. Duke slammed the Boilermakers 70-57 as an 8.5-point favorite. That improved the Blue Devils to 3-0 ATS in the tournament, which is actually a rare feat for the Blue Devils - they have had trouble covering in the tourney in recent years.
Against the Boilermakers on Friday night Kyle Singler led Duke with 24 points and eight rebounds while shooting 4-of-6 from three-point range. Jon Scheyer broke out of a shooting slump with 18 points, after scoring only 20 points combined in the Blue Devils’ first two tourney games.
The Blue Devils dominated the boards against Purdue, out-rebounding the Boilermakers 45-22. Brian Zoubek led Duke on the glass with 14 rebounds.
Baylor made their first appearance in the Sweet 16 on Friday night, which also means this is their first trip to the Elite Eight. The Bears have been to the Final Four before, but that was way back in 1948 and 1950 when the tournament had a much smaller field.
Duke has been a mainstay in the Elite Eight, but they haven’t made it this far in the tournament since 2004. That year they also advanced to the Final Four before bowing out. In 17 overall appearances in the Elite Eight the Blue Devils own an impressive 14-3 record SU.