Duke vs. Wisconsin- NCAA Championship - 4/6/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Wisconsin Badgers (36-3) at Duke Blue Devils (34-4)
College Basketball: Monday, April 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm (Lucas Oil Stadium)
The Line: Duke Blue Devils 0 -- Over/Under: 140.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: CBS HD
The Wisconsin Badgers and Duke Blue Devils will battle for the NCAA Championship this Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The (1) Wisconsin Badgers (36-3, 16-2 Big Ten) pulled off the upset of the previously unbeaten Kentucky Wildcats, 71-64, this past Saturday. In what was a back and forth game, Wisconsin didn’t panic when they went down 4 points with just about 5 minutes left to play and got a big three-pointer by Sam Dekker with just about a minute to help complete the victory. Leading the way for the Badgers was Frank Kaminsky who had a double-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Wisconsin finished the season ranked 2nd in both the RPI and BPI standings and played the 16th ranked SOS. On the season, the Badgers have been led by Frank Kaminsky (18.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.5 bpg) and Sam Dekker (13.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 apg). Offensively, Wisconsin is averaging 72.7 ppg (ranked 49th) on 48.1% shooting (ranked 17th). The Badgers average 7.2 three-pointers per game (ranked 86th) and commit just 7.5 turnovers per game (ranked 1st). Defensively, Wisconsin is holding their opponents to an average of 57.9 ppg (ranked 12th) on 42.7% shooting (ranked 163rd). The Badgers have a rebound margin of 5.9 (ranked 22nd) and commit just 12.5 personal fouls per game (ranked 1st).
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The (1) Duke Blue Devils didn’t allow Michigan State’s hot start phase them, and was able to pull away from the Spartans early in the 2nd half to win 81-61 this past Saturday. Although Duke struggled from beyond the arc shooting just 20.0% (2-10), they ended up shooting an impressive 52.0% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 14-8 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Blue Devils was Justise Winslow who had 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals. Duke finished the season ranked 5th in the RPI Standings, 6th in the BPI Standings, and played the 11th ranked SOS. On the season, the Blue Devils have been led by Jahlil Okafor (17.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg) and Justise Winslow (12.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.3 spg). Offensively, Duke is averaging 79.6 ppg (ranked 5th) on 50.2% shooting (ranked 3rd). The Blue Devils average 7.3 three-pointers per game (ranked 69th) and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.4 (ranked 13rh). Defensively, Duke is allowing their opponents to average 64.2 ppg (ranked 111th) on 42.2% shooting (ranked 128th). The Blue Devils average 7.2 spg (ranked 64th) and pull down 36.92 total rpg (ranked 50th).
The Badgers are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games vs. the ACC and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games. The Blue Devils are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. the Big Ten.
This should be a great National Championship game as we have the experienced veteran squad in Wisconsin going against the young guns of Duke. Wisconsin has been the best team all season in terms of limiting their mistakes and they are a very fundamentally sound team that doesn’t commit turnovers or fouls and will need to bring a similar defensive effort that they displayed against Kentucky. Duke will rely on their trio of young starts (Okafor, Winslow, and Jones) however, have gotten key contributions from their other players such as Quinn Cook, Matt Jones and Grayson Allen to help them reach the Championship game. Duke and Wisconsin did meet up earlier in the year, in which Duke was able to beat Wisconsin 80-70 as the Blue Devils shot 65.2% from the field and 58.3% from beyond the arc in the victory. Duke is a very talented team that has the ability to really score the basketball and have improved throughout the season on the defensive end, however, I feel that Frank Kaminsky is playing some of his best basketball of the season as of right now and Sam Dekker will find a way to have another big NCAA Tournament game and that the Badgers will win this one on the free-throw line late in the game. I’m taking Wisconsin to win this one.