Doug McDermott Set for Monster Game vs. Duke Blue Devils in Round of 32

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2013

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 2:  Doug McDermott #3 of the Creighton Bluejays celebrates during a timeout during their game against the Wichita State Shockers at the CenturyLink Center on March 2, 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

If National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott can light up the nation's 16th-best defense to the tune of 27 points, imagine what he'll do against the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday in the NCAA tournament's round of 32.

The Creighton star powered the Bluejays on Friday, scoring 27 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor in the team's win over 10th-seeded Cincinnati in the round of 64. And while the Bearcats had been holding opponents to just 38.7 percent shooting from the field this season, Duke ranks much worse, 114th nationally, allowing a clip of 41.6 percent.

A junior forward from Ames, Iowa, McDermott was the nation's second-leading scorer during the regular season (third-leading in 2011-12), averaging 23.1 points per game on roughly 56 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

So college basketball fans can expect him to deliver a big-time performance on Sunday night against the Blue Devils. 

That's not to say that Creighton will upset Duke, rather that McDermott won't be the reason why the Missouri Valley Conference champions bow out in the third round of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.


All signs point to McDermott having a huge 30-point game.

After all, he has failed to score at least 10 points in just two games this season, has surpassed the 30-point mark seven times and is averaging 21 points per game in three career NCAA tournament games

On top of that, McDermott has a history of playing his best games against Creighton's toughest opponents. He scored 30 points in a win over Wisconsin back in November and dropped 34 points in a win at California in December. Both teams went to the NCAA tournament this year.

Duke is no Wisconsin or Cal, but defensively, the Blue Devils are every bit as vulnerable as those teams. Plus, McDermott's confidence is at an all-time high following his mighty performance on Friday.

It's unlikely that McDermott can score enough for Creighton to pull off the upset, but barring an uncharacteristic outing, the versatile 6'8" forward is poised to stuff the stat sheet on Sunday night, getting to the foul line and taking advantage of his size on the perimeter.


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