Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Get 2 Seed In Midwest Region

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Grayson Allen
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Grayson Allen /

The Duke Blue Devils finished with a 26-7 record (13-5 in ACC) and earned themselves the number two seed in the Midwest Region. They’re in a killer  region with Kansas (1 seed) and Michigan State (3 seed). The Blue Devils open up play on Thursday against Iona.

In terms of regions, Duke got a tough draw being in the same region as Kansas and Michigan State. The Blue Devils already beat Michigan State earlier this season and Kansas scares the living hell out of me if Duke ends up meeting them in the Elite Eight. They have arguably the toughest region in the tournament. Teams like Auburn, NC State, Clemson and Rhode Island all have the potential to make runs even with the big name schools in this region.

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For Duke to make a long run in the tournament, it’s going to come down to guard play. Making runs in the NCAA tournament historically has been about having good guards and while Duke has the guards to make a run it’s going to come down securing the ball and making good decisions. The talent level is obviously there but when the Blue Devils have struggled this season, their guards haven’t played up well.

Defense is also going to be key. Dukes defense has been very so so, from the eye test, since it’s switched to a 2-3 zone. They’ve had phenomenal games but also have struggled at times for long stretches. The weak point has been on the back end. Teams have feasted attacking from the baseline and getting the ball to the free throw area. That needs to be cleaned up in a win or go home situation.

This team has the chance to make it to San Antonio. It’s not going to be the easiest and we’ve seen the Blue Devils hit lulls in games. That will cost them. At this point in the season, nobody cares how talented of a team you have. It’s all about will and wanting it more than your opponent. Duke has to dig deep for the next three weeks and play with the pride of Duke basketball weighing heavily to ultimately cut down the nets in San Antonio.