NCAA Tournament First Round: #2 Duke Vs. #15 Albany
- CoachingThe Blue Devils suffered a tough loss in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, but they're still led by Coach K who has 79 wins all-time in the tourney and has made 11 Final Fours.After losing the final game of the regular season to Stony Brook, Will Brown guided his squad to an America East title with upset wins over the number 1 & 2 seeds (Stony Brook and Vermont)
- OffenseDuke has the three-headed monster of Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly leading the way, each averaging 14+ points per game.The Great Danes have a terrific backcourt duo of Mike Black and Jacob Iati, but aside from those two there's not much secondary scoring.
- DefenseDuke's defense has been suspect at times this season especially in transition, but they still have held opponents to about 65 points per game. Mason Plumlee does a good job of protecting the rim.Albany is in the Top 40 in points allowed per game, but that's mainly because they choose to play a slower pace. They still allow opponents to shoot over 42% from the field.
- Bench DepthTheir starters tend to play a majority of the game, but Tyler Thornton and Amile Jefferson provide solid options of the bench.Jason Guerrier is a decent three ball threat at about 32% from long range and Brown regularly uses a 10 man rotation.
Blue Devils fans don't have to worry about flashbacks of last year's tournament. CJ McCollum isn't walking through the door for Albany. The Great Danes could be competitive early but Duke should handle this one with ease to advance to the round of 32. -Ryan Mayer, College Basketball Contributor