No. 12 Yale Bulldogs vs. No. 4 Duke Blue Devils (-6, 146)
Game to be played at Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, RI
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has won more NCAA Tournament games than any coach in history, while Yale is coming off its first ever NCAA Tournament victory. They’ll both try to add to those disparate totals when the fourth-seeded Blue Devils face the No. 12 seed Bulldogs in the second round of the West Region on Saturday in Providence, R.I.
It’s a rare postseason rematch, as the Blue Devils pulled away for an 80-61 home win over the Bulldogs on Nov. 25, but Duke star Grayson Allen isn’t putting much stock into the first meeting. “It’s tough to really look at that game at all just because both teams are so different now,” Allen told reporters. “It’s really like two different seasons from then to us playing them now. … They’re a completely different team since then, and we’ve grown as well.” Yale has won 18 of its last 19, including a 79-75 upset of No. 5 seed Baylor on Thursday, and is in the midst of its winningest season since 1906-07. The Blue Devils stumbled down the stretch, losing three of their last five regular-season games before going 1-1 in the ACC tournament, but they withstood a challenge from No. 13 seed UNC Wilmington in a 93-85 victory Thursday.
TV: 2:40 p.m. ET, CBS
LINE HISTORY: Duke opened as 6-point favorites over the tournament’s first Cinderella, Yale and the line hasn’t moved off that number. The total also hasn’t moved off the opening number of 146. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT YALE (23-6, 12-6-2 ATS, 12-8 O/U): The Bulldogs boast the Ivy League Player of the Year in senior forward Justin Sears (15.9 points, 7.4 rebounds) and another pair of first-team all-conference performers in senior forward Brandon Sherrod (12.4 points, 7.0 rebounds) and sophomore guard Makai Mason (16.3 points). Yale has been excellent on the boards all season and continued that trend against Baylor – improving to 20-2 when winning the rebounding battle – but will have a tougher time on the glass against the Blue Devils’ size up front. The Bulldogs also have a knack for getting to the foul line, averaging nearly 12 free-throw attempts per game, and will likely need to do so often to pull off a second straight upset.
ABOUT DUKE (24-10, 13-18-2 ATS, 15-18 O/U): The Blue Devils struggled with injuries for much of the year, including the loss of senior big man Amile Jefferson, but their young stars might be emerging at the right time to make a deep run. Allen (21.6 points), freshman Brandon Ingram (16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds) and 7-footer Marshall Plumlee (8.6 points, 8.6 rebounds) each topped 20 points against UNC Wilmington. Plumlee put up 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds Thursday, and the Blue Devils need him to again take advantage inside against an undersized Yale team.
* Yale is 10-3-1 ATS in its last 14 games (where a spread was posted).
* Duke is 0-6 ATS in its last six games overall.
* Under is 4-1 in Yale’s last five games following an ATS win.
* Over is 5-0 in Duke’s last five non-conference games.