Ironically enough, they have found themselves, not only as a No. 2 seed yet again, but in the same exact position within the bracket (upper left quadrant). Don’t worry Duke fans, things should go much smoother this time around.
That’s mainly because their second round opponent does not have a first round NBA Draft projection like Lehigh did a season ago. The Albany Great Danes do not have anyone of C.J. McCollum’s caliber, but they do feature a pretty good back court that is keyed by the their top two scorers on the season.
Both Mike Black (14.9 ppg) and Jacob Iati (12.1 ppg) can be dangerous at times for the Great Danes. What’s even more remarkable is their size. Iati stands at only 5-foot-10, while Black logs in at 6-feet. They may not have the greatest advantage in the back court, but don’t fault their importance to Albany’s run to the NCAA Tournament.
The Blue Devils feature Division I’s winningest coach of all-time in Mike Krzyzewski, so we obviously know that Duke will be prepared for both Black and Iati. However, Blue Devils’ guard Quinn Cook, Seth Curry and Rasheed Sulaimon must be ready to defend and stop the ball in transition.
Albany is not going to wow teams with the fast break, especially considering they only average 64.4 points per game, but Duke must look to limit the shot selection of both Black and Iati if they want to control things early.
Tip-off between No. 2 Duke and No. 15 Albany is scheduled for 12:15pm (EST) on Friday, Mar. 22.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS