Making the tournament – ho hum for both programs.
Making the Round of 32 – “whatever” for both of them.
Making the Sweet 16 – expected on both campuses.
Making the Elite Eight – all part of the plan for Duke; starting to be a big deal for the Bulldogs, this thing just got REAL.
Making the Final Four – Just TCB (takin’ care of business) for Duke; the biggest win in school history for Gonzaga.
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Duke Blue Devils tips off at 5:05 ET on Sunday afternoon to close out the Elite Eight.
The NCAA Tournament Odds are currently Duke -1.5, with a total of 145.
The line just moved down from -2, to -1.5 at Pinnacle Sports.
Omnipresent Duke have long established themselves as one of the top programs in college basketball. Gonzaga are working on a resume that they hope can land them in those “best programs in the country” conversations.
A win today will definitely make the Bulldogs Linkedin profile pop.
In this matchup, Duke has the legacy, Gonzaga has the “on-court” experience. Duke doesn’t feel like they accomplished anything, while Gonzaga are on the verge of uncharted territory. Coach K has been to the Elite Eight 14 times (most of any current coach), Mark Few has been to the Elite Eight…I’m not sure, but I know it’s a heck of a lot less than 14.
But don’t think for a minute for the Blue Devils aren’t hungry. As referenced above, this group isn’t satisfied and feel no sense they’ve done anything special, as they’re judged by Duke standards – which are exceedingly high. They’re as hungry to move on as the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga vs. Duke Pick:
With an experienced group, I don’t see Gonzaga getting overwhelmed by the moment, but it is BIG for this program. Duke are playing their best basketball of the season and look like they could win it all. Offensively, they’re going to create problems for the Bulldogs, problems that I’m not sure Few and his crew can work out.
These are two very good teams, but I’ll give the edge to Coach K and his troops.
I think Duke goes through to the Final Four.