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 #5 Duke Blue Devils (26-8) vs. #12 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (30-4) 

Game #35 • Neutral Site Game #9 • Thursday, March 16, 2023 • 7:10 p.m. ET 

NCAA Tournament First Round • Amway Center (20,000) • Orlando, Fla. 


Radio: Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD / Westwood One 

ACC Champion, No. 12 Duke makes its 45th NCAA Tournament appearance when the Blue Devils battle 12th-seeded Summit League Champions Oral Roberts on Thursday in a first-round game in Orlando, FL.

About Duke

A year removed from reaching the program’s 17th Final Four, the Blue Devils own the best winning percentage in NCAA Tournament history at .752 (118-39). Duke’s 118 tournament wins rank third all-time and its five championships are fourth most. Duke and Oral Roberts own two of the nation’s longest winning streaks at nine and 17, respectively. Only two other times has Duke entered the NCAA Tournament on longer winning streaks — 27 consecutive wins entering the 1999 tournament and 16 straight in 1986. Duke has ushered in the Jon Scheyer era with a priority on defense and rebounding, ranking 20th nationally in rebounding (38.7) and fifth in rebound margin (+8.1); is 32nd nationally in scoring defense (63.9), 24th in three-point defense (.304) and 36th in scoring margin (+8.2). A finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award for best first-year coach, Scheyer became just the third coach in conference history to win the ACC Tournament in their first season.

Finding continuity after a year full of injuries, Duke has played 10 consecutive games with its full complement of players and has started the same lineup in 14 straight — both its longest stretches this season. Duke is 18-1 overall in games with its full roster available. Duke has held opponents below their season scoring average 30 times (26-4 in those games) and has out-rebounded 28 opponents (24-4 in those games). Over Duke’s nine-game win streak, the team has posted top-40 offensive numbers nationally in that span for field goal percentage (.492), assists (15.8) and assist/turnover ratio (1.65).

ACC Tournament MVP Kyle Filipowski (right) averaged 19.7 points, shot .667 (24-of-36) from the field and pulled down 7.0 rebounds with two 20-point games and two double-doubles during a monster ACC Tournament. He leads all freshman nationally with 16 double-doubles. Junior captain Jeremy Roach, the lone returning starter from last year’s Final Four team, scored a career-high 23 points in the ACC title game (19 in second half). On pace for a career scoring year at 13.3 points, he is averaging 14.6 points and shooting .473 over the last 16 games. Finding continuity after a year full of injuries, Duke has played 10 consecutive games with its full complement of players and has started the same lineup in 14 straight — both its longest stretches this season. Duke is 18-1 overall in games with its full roster available.

About Oral Roberts

Champions of the Summit League and riding a Division I-leading 17-game winning streak, Oral Roberts is making its second NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons. In 2021, the Golden Eagles were a 15-seed and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen after defeating Ohio State and Florida, respectively. Oral Roberts is 30-4 overall and went 18-0 in Summit League play — the only team nationally undefeated in league play. In six previous trips to the NCAA Tournament, ORU is 4-6. The nation’s third highest scoring team at 84.2 points, Oral Roberts is second in three pointers per game (10.8) and fifth in blocks per game (5.4).

Senior guard Max Abmas is sixth in the country in points per game (22.2), free throw percentage (91.8) and three pointers per game (3.55). He also leads the tam in assists at 4. Per game. 7’4 forward Connor Vanover leads the team in blocks at 3.3 per game, and rebounds at 7.2, he also scores 12.9 points per game. Issac McBride rounds out the double figure scoring for OR at 11.9 per game.

The Blue Devils have faced just two Summit League members previously, beating North Dakota State in the 2019 NCAA First Round, 85-62, and beating South Dakota on Dec. 2, 2017 at Cameron Indoor, 96-80.

Stats Comparison

Duke 34 40.1 26.0 57.6 .451 19.1 37.2 .514 6.9 20.4 .336 13.7 17.8 .770 12.1 26.6 38.7 14.8 5.7 4.5 12.0 15.2 72.5
Oral Roberts 34 40.0 30.6 63.8 .479 19.8 34.5 .573 10.8 29.3 .369 12.3 15.9 .776 8.9 28.1 36.9 14.8 6.9 5.4 9.4 13.1 84.2

Probable Starters

Duke Blue Devils

G Jeremy Roach 6’2, 180lbs Jr. 
G Tyrese Proctor 6’5 175lbs Fr.
F Mark Mitchell 6’8, 220lbs Fr.
F Kyle Filipowski 7’0, 230lbs Fr.
F Dereck Lively 7’1, 230lbs  Fr.

 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles 

G Max Abmas 6’0, 175lbs Sr.
G Issac McBride 6’1, 172lbs Jr.
G Kareem Thompson 6’5, 208lbs Sr.
G Carlos Jürgens 6’5, 206lbs Rs.Sr.
F Connor Vanover 7’5, 227lbs Sr.


It’s hard to say what will and won’t translate offensively for the Golden Eagles against Duke but the one thing Duke has going for it is experience this season against many different styles of offenses. Duke will need to do the things that it has done well for the majority of the year and that is defend and rebound. Those are the things that translate no matter who or where you play. If they can defensively draw the big 7’5 center away from the basket then perhaps they can find some ways to get shots at the rim – guards driving directly at him is not the answer unless those drives end in dump offs for Dereck Lively or Kyle Filipowski. If Duke is able to get comfortable and knock down their open shots from 3 and in the mid-range this game becomes a lot easier. Make the Golden Eagles defend multiple actions, make them chase.

All in all it’s going to come down to what Duke does defensively. Guarding Max Abmas and chasing him off of the 3-point line and limiting Connor Vanover, not allowing the big man to get in a good shooting rhythm will be paramount – limiting them to pedestrian games is the key to victory in what will be a very tough matchup.