Sweet 16 2019: Complete Schedule, Updated Bracket and PredictionsMarch 28, 2019
The Duke Blue Devils survived the second round of the NCAA tournament by the skin of their teeth against a shockingly effective UCF team that featured 7'6" Tacko Fall.
It took a spectacular play by Zion Williamson against Fall and a rebound of a missed free throw by R.J. Barrett and a subsequent putback to give Duke a 77-76 win.
Now that the Blue Devils have had a close call and advanced in the bracket, will they return to the dominating form that led them to the No. 1 seed in the tournament?
Basketball fans will find out in the Sweet 16 when Duke meets Virginia Tech Friday night.
Here's a look at all eight games and our predictions.
Sweet 16 Schedule, Odds, Predictions
(All Times ET; game odds courtesy of VegasInsider)
No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (-7.5), 7:09 p.m., CBS; Gonzaga 78, FSU 73
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 2 Tennessee (-1.5), 7:29 p.m., TBS; Purdue 74, Tennessee 70
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 2 Michigan (-2), 9:39 p.m., CBS; Michigan 88, Texas Tech 76
No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 1 Virginia (-8.5), 9:57 p.m., TBS; Virginia 69, Oregon 59
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 2 Michigan State (-6), 7:09 p.m., CBS; Michigan State 77, LSU 69
No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 1 North Carolina (-5), 7:29 p.m., TBS; North Carolina 84, Auburn 81
No. 4 Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Duke (-7), 9:39 p.m., CBS; Duke 91, Virginia Tech 79
No. 3 Houston vs. No. 2 Kentucky (-3), 9:57 p.m., TBS; Houston 77, Kentucky 69
Team in bold to cover the point spread.
Virginia Tech vs. Duke
Virginia Tech has a challenging assignment here, facing a Blue Devils team that earned a second life following their second-round victory.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is likely to have his charges prepared to play at peak level following their escape against UCF. That will make it difficult for Virginia Tech to hang in for 40 minutes.
The Hokies have had a couple of solid games, but they have also had a fortunate draw to this point. They took down Saint Louis 66-52 in the first round and followed that up with a 67-58 victory over 12th-seeded Liberty.
Virginia Tech is led by Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who is averaging 16.4 points per game and connecting on 47.8 percent from the field. Forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is averaging 14.9 ppg and connecting on 51.9 percent from the field. Additionally, Justin Robinson and Ahmed Hill are both averaging more than 13 points per game.
These two teams are familiar with each other, and Virginia Tech defeated Duke 77-72 in late February. Williamson was not in the lineup, as he was out with a knee injury at the time.
This time, the Hokies are up against a more motivated Duke team with a healthy Williamson.
Barrett is averaging 22.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, while Williamson is scoring 22.5 points per game and connecting on 68.4 percent from the field.
Look for Duke to get revenge on Virginia Tech and advance to the Elite Eight.