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Duke vs. Florida State - 3/16/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

16 March, 2019, 14:24 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • North Carolina vs Duke ACC Tournament

Williamson - who barely played in one regular-season loss to UNC and not at all in the second because of a knee sprain - finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds in his second game back for the Blue Devils (28-5).

A potential game-winner for Coby White, a pull-up jumper with just seconds left, rimmed out, and a putback attempt by Little didn't fall, handing UNC its first loss to Duke since March 3 of a year ago.

"I mean, it exceeded my expectations", Williamson said of getting his first full-game taste of the rivalry. Little reached behind him to box out the future No. 1 overall pick, but Williamson had stepped inside to the center of the lane for the rebound and a quick put-back on what would be the game victor.

"These two guys have an incredible will to win", Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Williamson and Barrett, "and it makes us coaches look a lot better". "(Barrett) and Zion weren't as exhausted", said Krzyzewski, noting Duke's greatest flaw without Williamson for those six games, "because they were ... instead of giving energy to a teammate, they were getting energy from a teammate".

During an 11-1 Seminoles run in the second half, Nichols made three consecutive field goals, once even scoring on Hunter, the ACC defensive player of the year and projected National Basketball Association lottery pick who has drawn comparisons to Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, among the best two-way players in the world. Carolina had a play drawn up for a three-pointer, but short of needing that, the plan was to attack the basket. Coby White and Luke Maye each chipped in 19 points in that one, while Cam Johnson and Garrison Brooks each tallied double-figures.

Or perhaps the first two games against UNC without Williamson still carry weight with the committee. The idea of an asterisk was without merit on February 20 and it still is today. And they had two weeks and all 40 minutes to prepare for what was the regular-season finale loss in Chapel Hill. Duke, while obviously much better with Williamson, was clearly one of the country's best teams without him, too. And when the Blue Devils needed a go-ahead bucket in the final minute, Mike Krzyzewski put the ball in Zion's hands. Unprompted, Williams had a response.

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"I'd have bet $1,000 right there that shot was going in", he said, "but it didn't".

Zion Williamson is back for a clash of the titans. We have never won a tournament championship but one time.

Which leads to two ideas now: The first is whether Carolina gets a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday. It's also the same floor where Virginia lost a second-round game as a No. 2 seed to seventh-seeded Michigan State in 2015. "We've got six more games, hopefully". They were pushed to the wire at Clemson, but every other one of those wins has been by at least eight points, and the average margin of victory during that stretch has been 14.63.

Both teams will advance to the NCAA Tournament, which begins next week.

First, Duke is everything everyone anticipated at the beginning of the year when it's at full strength.

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