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Duke – 33-5 SU, 22-13-2 ATS
West Virginia – 31-6 SU, 17-19 ATS
West Virginia vs Duke Odds
Duke is currently the favourite at -3.
West Virginia +3
Moneyline: WV +125, Kentucky -145
This Final Four matchup will take place in Indianapolis at 8:45PM Saturday night.
These teams met in the tournament two years ago. West Virginia was the victor 73-67, covering as a 4 point underdog. Several current players participated in this game but the leading scorers from each team (Joe Alexander and Gerald Henderson) have moved on.
Duke was very impressive in eliminating Purdue and Baylor over the weekend. From watching these games it seems that their biggest advantage compared to other teams still in the field is that they have multiple go to scorers making it hard to contain them all once the possessions start becoming highly valued, especially in the second half of games. They are also doing a great job owning the glass with their bigs.
They doubled up on Purdue and outrebounded the Bears by 5.
They may not have elite scoring talent up front but they are willing to do the dirty work and this lunchbox mentality will need to continue against a scrappy, pesky WVU team that makes up for lack of size with tenacity. On paper they should beat WVU and land themselves back in the Finals.
West Virginia is the last Big East team standing. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise as they have been very consistent this season and were only a road blowout to Purdue away from a number 1 seed. I have been banging on Devin Ebanks pretty hard this year.
His production is down but in the tournament he has been a defensive menace. Whoever he guards (Singler, Scheyer or Smith) will likely struggle and when he is at the top of the zone he makes things very uncomfortable for the opposition. Da’Sean Butler continues to perform at an MOP level.
He played all 40 minutes against Kentucky and may need to do so again as he is their only consistent offensive threat. Duke will likely put Lance Thomas on him to preserve Singler and this is a matchup that he will have to exploit for the Mountaineers to win. It was surprising the way WVU handled Kentucky.
Duke isn’t as talented but has way more experience which will be a different kind of challenge.
Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games
Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games
Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning SU record
Mountaineers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games as an underdog
Mountaineers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a SU win
Mountaineers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
Mountaineers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
Free Blue Devils vs. Mountaineers CBB Pick
Everything has set up nicely for Duke so far but this should be their stiffest challenge yet. I like the fact that they have multiple go to scorers who can create their own shot and their experience should mean that they will handle West Virginia’s defense better than Kentcuky.
It pains me but I think Duke will win a close one.
Score prediction: Duke 72 – West Virginia 70
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