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March Madness Betting – Pirates vs. Blue Devils Free Round 1 Pick

2011 NCAA Tournament Predictions – Hampton Pirates vs Duke Blue Devils Preview

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#16 Hampton vs. #1 Duke Matchup
NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET – WEST REGION
Date/Time: Friday, March 18, 3:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Broadcast: CBS
Hampton Pirates vs. Duke Blue Devils Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Money Line: OFF
Spread: Duke -22.5
Over/Under: 134

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Hampton Pirates (24-8)

A No. 16 seed has never defeated a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Only 13 have even come within 10 points and five have come within five points. So there’s only so much we have to say about Hampton.

I have to give the Pirates credit: they shot 40.7 per cent as a team, 303rd-best in the country, yet still won 24 games on the strength of their defense. They’re a tenacious group and they get their offense from their two solid guards – Darrion Pellum and Kwame Morgan II, who combined to average 34-plus points per game this season.

Duke Blue Devils (30-4)

The defending national champion Duke Blue Devils deserve a round of applause for earning a No. 1 seed despite playing almost the entire season without injured Kyrie Irving. He likely won’t be ready to return on Friday but Duke will be fine without him.

Nolan Smith has blossomed into one of the nation’s top scorers; he averaged more than 21 points per game this season. Kyle Singler wasn’t as consistently good but he can excel when used right. If Duke can match him up against other teams’ big men, he’ll get some open looks in this tournament and pour in the points. Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

Duke enters the NCAA tournament hot. It thumped Maryland, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, all by 16 or more points, en route to the ACC tournament crown last week. It also beat the spread in all three of those victories.

Trends:

HAMP are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
Under is 7-2 in DUKE last 9 overall.
DUKE are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.

The pick: While many pundits feel that Duke’s draw in the West Region is much tougher than what it got last year, Friday clearly isn’t the time to worry. Duke will crush Hampton. It’s conceivable that the Pirates’ plucky guards will asserts themselves and keep things close for, say, 10 minutes. But Coach K’s guys will take over after that and they won’t look back.

Hampton is just happy to be in the tourney for the first time since 2006. The deep, talented Duke should roll and I don’t think it’ll have too much trouble covering the spread, as big as 22.5 points might look.

Hampton vs. Duke Predictions: Duke 77, Hampton 52

Money Line: OFF
Spread: Duke -22.5
Over/Under: UNDER 134

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


Comments

Comments

  1. Honestly, Duke will make it to the Final Four but I think they’re getting a bit too cocky with Irving coming back..

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