Duke kicked off the second day of the round of 64 with a 73-61 victory over Albany.
The Great Danes kept the game close for much of the first half and reeled Duke in during the second period. But Duke used a size advantage to get good looks inside and edged out the feisty 15 seed.
Seth Curry had 26 points and Mason Plumlee had 23. The senior leaders provided reliable scoring for Duke that Albany simply couldn’t match. Quinn Cook ran the offense effectively and tallied 9 assists.
While the scoring was consistent, Duke’s defense was spotty at best. Albany shot 60 percent from three and that kept things interesting for the full 40 minutes.
Going forward, Duke will have to improve on the defensive effort and the Blue Devils will need more scoring output from Ryan Kelly and Rasheed Sulaimon. In all, it was a win in a tournament where winning is all that matters. Still, it wasn’t one that built a lot of confidence for Duke’s title chances.