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Duke vs. UCF - 3/24/19 NCAA March Madness Second Round Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
UCF vs. Duke
Date & Time Sunday March 24, 2019, 5:15 PM (EDT)
Location
Colonial Life Arena
Columbia, SC
The Line
Duke Blue Devils -13 -- O/U: 143.5
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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The UCF Knights and the Duke Blue Devils meet in an NCAA tournament second round matchup in college basketball action from the Colonial Life Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The UCF Knights will look to knock off the top seed in the tournament after punching their ticket to the second round with a 73-58 win over VCU in their opening round matchup. B.J. Taylor led the Knights with 15 points along with 3 assists and 3 steals while Aubrey Dawkins added 14 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists and Tacko Fall chipped in 13 points with 18 rebounds and 5 blocks for the double-double to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for UCF in the winning effort. Taylor leads UCF in scoring with 16 points per game while Fall leads the Knights in rebounding with 7.3 rebounds per game and Terrell Allen leads UCF in assists with 4.3 assists per game this season. As a team, UCF is averaging 72.1 points per game on 46.3% shooting from the field, 35.4% from behind the arc and 64.5% from the foul line this season.

The Duke Blue Devils reached the second round after taking down North Dakota State by a final score of 85-62. RJ Barrett led the Blue Devils with 26 points on 9 of 18 shooting with 14 rebounds for the double-double while Zion Williamson came right behind with 25 points on 12 of 16 shooting. Cam Reddish added 12 points to round out the trio of Dukies to score in double figures in the winning effort while Tre Jones dished out a team-high 4 assists. Barrett leads Duke in scoring with 23 points per game while Williamson leads the Blue Devils in rebounding with 8.7 rebounds per game and Jones leads Duke in assists with 5.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Duke is averaging the 8th-most points per game in the country, scoring 83.5 points per game on 47.9% shooting from the field, 30.5% from behind the 3-point line and 68.9% from the foul line this season.

UCF is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 12-4 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games while the under is 3-0-1 in their last 4 games against the ACC. Duke is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 neutral site games. 

I've gone back and forth on this game, as Duke is the better team, but UCF has a huge size advantage inside with Fall and that could make Duke have to rely on the outside shot, a facet of their game that's been average for the most part this season. However, while Duke took their foot off of the gas against North Dakota State, I can't ignore the fact that Duke is 8-1 SU on a neutral floor and are outscoring teams by over 13 points per game during that stretch. UCF will hang around for a bit with Duke, but ultimately I just see the Blue Devils pulling away in the second half so I'll lay the points with Duke here.

Pick:
Duke -13

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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