Duke was a huge favorite as a No. 2 seed last season and it didn't work out very well for them.
Can the Albany Great Danes pull off another upset as a 15 seed when they tangle with the Blue Devils in Midwest Region action?
Duke lost to Lehigh last season in this position, but Albany poses less of a threat. The America East conference champs have a very low RPI rank and lost to tiny Quinnipiac this season.
Duke meanwhile ranked No. 1 in the important RPI list, despite its ACC tournament quarterfinal loss to Maryland.
The Blue Devils currently sports a 27-5 record overall in NCAAB action, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 17-15 ATS. The Great Danes are 24-10 and 4-2 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Blue Devils produce a 17-15 OVER/UNDER record on the season, while the Great Danes have gone 0-4 against the number.
The visitors opened as 18-point underdogs in this one at most sportsbooks tracked at Odds Shark, including TopBet. The total was set to open a bit later (check out GTbets.eu for the latest situation).
Power Rankings / Prediction:
According to new college basketball power rankings here, it's the No. 17-ranked Blue Devils and the No. 186-rated Great Danes in this matchup. Computer formulas aimed at predicting NCAAB scores point to a 80-71 win for the Blue Devils on Friday.
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Duke's No. 6 nationally ranked offense (78.3 points per game) against a Great Danes defense that sits as the No. 36 at 60.3 PPG. The Blue Devils have been averaging 47.6% from the field, more than the Great Danes have managed so far this season (43.8% on average).
Comparing how these foes stack up statistically, Albany owns the country's No. 31-rated mark, allowing 62.1 points per game on the highway. Duke, on the other hand, rates No. 19 in scoring at home.
Last time out for Albany, they were a 53-49 winner as they battled Vermont on the road. They covered in the match as a 7.5-point underdog. Mike Black scored 14 points leading the Great Danes to a 53-49 victory over Vermont at Roy Patrick Gym on Saturday.
In their last action, Duke was an 83-74 loser at home against Maryland. They failed to cover the 10.5-point spread as favorites. The Blue Devils endured an 83-74 loss at the hands of the Terrapins on Friday, despite a 19-point effort from Mason Plumlee at Greensboro Coliseum.
Duke Blue Devils Trends:
When playing on Friday are 9-1
After playing Maryland are 9-1
After a loss are 9-1
A few Great Danes at Blue Devils trends to consider:
Duke is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Duke's last 6 games