#5 Duke Blue Devils (27-8) vs. #4 Tennessee Volunteers (24-10)
Game #36 • Neutral Site Game #10 • Saturday, March 18, 2023 • 2:40 p.m. ET
NCAA Tournament Second Round • Amway Center (18,846) • Orlando, Fla.
Radio: Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD / Westwood One
No. 12 Duke puts its 10-game winning streak on the line Saturday with an NCAA Tournament Second Round game vs. No. 20 Tennessee at Amway Center in Orlando.
A year removed from reaching the program’s 17th Final Four, the Blue Devils own the best winning percentage in NCAA Tournament history at .753 (119-39). Duke’s 119 tournament wins rank third all-time and its five championships are fourth most. Duke extended its winning streak to 10, while snapping Oral Roberts’ Division I leading 17-game win streak, with Thursday’s 74-51 victory behind junior Jeremy Roach’s (right) career-high tying 23 points and freshman Dereck Lively II’s 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Finding continuity after a year full of injuries, Duke has played 11 consecutive games with its full complement of players and has started the same lineup in 15 straight — both its longest stretches this season. Duke is 19-1 overall in games with its full roster available.
Duke has ushered in the Jon Scheyer era with a priority on defense and rebounding — the Blue Devils have held opponents below their season scoring average 31 times (27-4 in those games) and have out-rebounded 29 opponents (25-4 in those games).
Duke limited Oral Roberts, the nation’s sixth best scoring offensive, to 51 points — 33 below its average of 84.2, while out-rebounding the Golden Eagles, 46-32. ACC Tournament MVP Kyle Filipowski 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. Roach has matched his career-high 23 points in consecutive games after scoring 23 in the ACC Tournament title game win over Virginia. His team-high 23 on Thursday snapped a streak of 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament games that a Blue Devil freshman was the leading scorer.
About Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee earned a fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, and the Volunteers (24-10) earned a No. 4 seed for the fourth time in program history. This is Tennessee’s 25th all-time NCAA Tournament berth, while Vols’ head coach Rick Barnes is making his 27th appearance as a head coach and his fifth leading the program. Senior Santiago Vescovi averages 12.6 points to lead a Vols team that scores 71.4 points per game, but allows just 57.9 — the nation’s third best scoring defense. Vescovi and Duke’s Tyrese Proctor are each products of the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia. Duke assistant coach Jai Lucas played his final two seasons at Texas for Rick Barnes, graduating from UT in 2011. Duke and Tennessee have met 15 times, with Duke leading, 8-7. The program’s last met in the 2011 Maui Invitational — a 77-67 Duke victory. The only postseason meeting came in 1971 — a 78-64 victory at Madison Square Garden in the NIT.
The Volunteers are 16th in the country in offensive rebounding and 9th in assists. They are one of the top defensive teams in the nation but are without their starting point guard Zakai Zeigler who averaged 10.7 points and 5.4 assists per game.
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.
G Santiago Vescovi 6’3, 192lbs Sr.
G Jahmai Mashack 6’4, 201lbs So.
G Josiah-Jordan James 6’6, 224lbs Sr.
F Olivier Nkamhoua 6’9, 236lbs Sr.
F Uros Plavsic 7’1, 265lbs Sr.
Duke will face one of the toughest defenses in the NCAA in Tennessee. The Volunteers are not a high-powered offense but the game will be a grind. Duke, again, will have to win out on the boards. Patience on offense will be a key and making the Tennessee defense make multiple choices and put them in bad matchups. This is a game where Mark Mitchell and Dariq Whitehead may be able to thrive. I also think that the Duke guards can score effectively against the guards of Tennessee.