Perennial power Duke goes against Lehigh in the 2-vs.-15 game in the South Region Friday evening.
The Blue Devils, an at-large invitee after finishing second in the ACC, are favored by 12.5 points over the Mountain Hawks, who upset Bucknell to win the Patriot League tournament.
Duke had been doing much better as a March team in recent years, but they are 0-5 ATS in their past 5. They have also struggled recently as a double digit favorite, going just 3-10 ATS in that role.
This game is being played at a neutral-site court (Greensboro Coliseum).
The Mountain Hawks will look to vanquish their hosts on Friday, as they are 7-1 ATS versus the spread this season, while the Blue Devils are 13-20 ATS. Lehigh is 5-2 against the total, while Duke is 20-12-1 versus the number.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The power rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the Blue Devils rated this week at No. 20 and the Mountain Hawks sitting at No. 94. It may or may not play a role in Odds Shark score prediction modelling that produced a 83-81 result in favor of the Mountain Hawks.
How They Match Up:
Rebounding is always a key handicapping consideration and Mountain Hawks is ranked No. 98 in NCAA hoops at 35.9 per game. Contrast that with Duke’s No. 68 mark in the paint. When it comes to three-point shooting, Duke is the No. 28-ranked team in the country at 8.1 per game, while Lehigh rates No. 68 at 7.4 per game.
Defensively, Lehigh features the nation's No. 153-rated defense on the road, allowing 68.8 points per game. Duke, meanwhile, comes in at No. 37 nationally in scoring at home.
Lehigh was an 82-77 winner in its last match on the road against Bucknell. They covered the 4-point spread as underdogs. C.J. McCollum scored 29 points for Lehigh on Wednesday, leading the Mountain Hawks to an 82-77 win over Bucknell at Sojka Pavilion.
Duke was a 62-59 loser in their most recent outing at home against Florida State. They failed to cover the 3-point spread as favorites. The Blue Devils endured a 62-59 loss at the hands of the Seminoles on Saturday, despite a 17-point effort from Austin Rivers at Philips Arena.
Duke Blue Devils Trends:
When playing on Friday are 10-0
After playing Florida State are 6-4
After a loss are 10-0
A few Mountain Hawks at Blue Devils trends to consider:
Duke is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games
Duke is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games