Duke Blue Devils vs. Mercer Bears Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/21/14
Mercer Bears (26-8) at Duke Blue Devils (26-8)
College Basketball: Friday, March 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm (PNC Arena)
The Line: Duke Blue Devils -13.5 -- Over/Under: 143 See the Latest Odds
The Mercer Bears play the Duke Blue Devils in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday.
The Mercer Bears improved to 26-8, 14-4 A-Sun after beating Florida Gulf Coast 68-60 in the conference championship game on Sunday. On the season, Langston Hall leads the Bears in both scoring and assists per game, averaging 14.7 points and 5.6 assists per contest. Daniel Coursey is averaging 9.9 points per game and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. Mercer is averaging 79.3 points per game while shooting 47.5% from the field as a team this season. The Bears are a great rebounding team, averaging 38 boards per game. Mercer is also good at distributing the ball on the offensive end of the floor, averaging 16.4 assists per game. The Bears have won four straight games and eight of their last eleven overall. Mercer has not played on a neutral floor this season.
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The Duke Blue Devils dropped to 26-8, 13-5 ACC after losing to Virginia 72-63 in the ACC championship game on Sunday. On the season, Jabari Parker leads the Blue Devils with 19.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Rodney Hood is averaging a solid 16.4 points per game; while Quinn Cook is averaging a team-high 4.4 assists per game. Amile Jefferson is averaging 6.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and has really helped Duke improve their rebounding numbers as the year has gone on. The Blue Devils are averaging an impressive 79.1 points per game while shooting 46.6% from the field as a team this season. Duke had won three straight after losing two games over the past month before losing to Virginia on Sunday. The Blue Devils finished a lousy 4-5 on the road in conference play and are now 5-3 on neutral courts during the season.
Duke will be hungry after losing in the ACC championship game, while Mercer is somewhat satisfied for making it to the tournament in the first place. Duke will have to do a good job rebounding against the Bears to earn the win. The Blue Devils have too much fire power and Parker will be too much to handle for Mercer. I think Duke wins big on Friday.