Sweet 16 Brackets: Duke's Dynamic Backcourt Means Long Night for Arizona
Sweet 16 Brackets Could See Duke Survive Against The Scrappy Arizona Wildcats
One of the biggest problems the Duke defense will have to figure out before its Sweet 16 showdown with Arizona tonight will be how to slow down Derrick Williams.
Perhaps the Wildcats should be wondering the same thing about the Duke backcourt.
The Wildcats have a trump card in Williams, but the Blue Devils also have a host of very strong guards, including one with National Championship experience in Nolan Smith. Then there's Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry who add some punch and scoring ability as well, all of which makes the defensive assignment very tough for the Wildcats.
Then there's Kyle Singler, who is a small forward but plays like a guard and can shoot from anywhere on the floor and has National Championship experience as well.
All of these guards are similar in that they can all shoot from the outside, but Singler is the ringleader. He's the catalyst of the Duke offense and he still has the capability to take over a game on the offense.
But if you're the Wildcats, who do you focus on? Is it Irving, who's expected to get more playing time tonight, is it Smith who's averaging 21 points a game, or is it Singler? Then there's Andre Dawkins and Curry, both of whom can provide some quality minutes and quality points from the perimeter in a supporting role.
Duke is so deep in the backcourt with outside shooters that they can beat you with a number of people. And when the perimeter shot isn't there, Smith, Irving and Singler can all drive to the hoop and score on the dribble.
I still think the Wildcats win because Arizona has Williams and that Tournament vibe about them so far, but the Duke backcourt and Singler are going to have a lot to do with the final result.
And if Duke can win, it'll be because of the guards.
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