2015 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 1 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs

By Trevor Lowry
Duke Basketball
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

So far, so good for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. This was said to be arguably the best team in program history entering the 2015 NCAA tournament, and that is still definitely the case. After all, the Bulldogs will be playing in the Elite Eight. Their opponent will be the Duke Blue Devils.

Duke is coming off a victory against the Utah Utes. The Blue Devils won the game and that is really all that matters. They only scored 63 points in the contest and did not dominate by any means, but the Utes also have a very stingy defense and played tough. As for the Bulldogs, they knocked off the UCLA Bruins by the score of 74-62.

Being the No. 1 seed, the Blue Devils definitely have the advantage, and it doesn’t hurt that they will have the best player on the court in this Elite Eight battle.

What to Watch For

Said player is Jahlil Okafor. Entering the contest with Utah, Okafor had scored 20+ points in every NCAA tournament game so far (all two of them). However, the big man was just 3-for-6 from the field in the Sweet 16. He finished the game with six points and seven rebounds. Justise Winslow can’t go unnoticed. He dropped 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Sweet 16.

The ‘Zags may have more notable players than Przemek Karnowski (like Kevin Pangos and Kyle Wiltjer), but it is Karnowski who made a couple of no-look passes look easy against the Bruins. He also had 18 points and nine boards.

Prediction

Given the fact that both teams average right around 80 points per game, this one could be a shootout, which is what I am hoping for (I know I am not alone on that one).

In the end, I am predicting Tyus Jones to be the difference, and for Duke to move on to yet another Final Four. With that in mind, let’s remember that Duke is the No. 1 seed and Gonzaga the No. 2 seed. Either team is very capable of coming away with the win, and we will be seeing some serious talent battling it out for a spot in the Final Four.

Duke 77, Gonzaga 73

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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