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Duke Blue vs. UNC Wilmington - 3/17/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

UNC Wilmington Seahawks (25-7) at Duke Blue Devils (23-10)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Dunkin Donuts Center)

The Line: Duke Blue Devils -9.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The UNC Wilmington Seahawks and Duke Blue Devils will face off this Thursday afternoon at Dunkin Donuts Center to help kick off the NCAA Tournament.

The UNC Wilmington Seahawks earned the 13th seed in the West Region after winning the CAA Tournament by defeating the Hofstra Pride by an 80-73 margin in OT. UNC Wilmington had one of the better high paced and scoring offensives in the CAA this season and although their defense can give up points, the Seahawks dis a great job of forcing turnovers. On the season, the Seahawks have been led by Chris Flemmings (16.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg), Denzel Ingram (12.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.5 spg), and Craig Ponder (11.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg). Offensively, UNC Wilmington averages 79.2 ppg on 45.6% shooting from the field and 33.6% shooting from beyond the arc. The Seahawks average 6.8 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.17. Defensively, UNC Wilmington is allowing an average of 71.4 ppg on 41.7% shooting. The Seahawks have a rebound margin of 1.0 and a turnover margin of 3.8.

Duke Blue vs. UNC Wilmington - 3/17/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Duke Blue Devils had an up and down season and earned the 4th seed after finishing the season with a 23-10 record. Duke use a solid offensive attack to generate another 20-win season but had lack much depth this season after losing big man Amie Jefferson for the season in December. On the season, Duke has been led by Grayson Allen (21.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg), Brandon Ingram (16.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.4 bpg), and Luke Kennard (11.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 apg). Offensively, Duke is averaging 81.5 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field and 38.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Blue Devils average 9.3 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.37. Defensively, Duke is allowing their opponents to average 72.1 ppg on 44.5% shooting. The Blue Devils have a rebound margin of -0.2 and a turnover margin of 2.3.

The Seahawks are 2-0-2 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games however, just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Blue Devils are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.

Duke is always a threat with coach K at the helm however, UNC Wilmington is at its best against teams that keep the tempo at a fast pace, and as I’m not confident that Duke will be able to do much with their lack of depth, I’m taking UNC Wilmington and the points in this one.  

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UNC Wilmington Seahawks +9.5

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