Duke Basketball: Top Ten matchup in Maui between Tigers and Blue Devils

(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images) /

It’ll be a top ten matchup at the Maui Invitational as the Duke Basketball team will get ready to take on the Auburn Tigers in the semifinals.

It’s going to be the talk of the island as the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils take on the No. 8 Auburn Tigers in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational Tuesday night.

The Blue Devils controlled the game from the start in their first round matchup with San Diego State, winning 90-64, while it looked like Auburn had control against Xavier but the Tigers needed overtime to put away the Musketeers, 88-79.

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Since Duke won in blowout fashion, Jack White logged in the most minutes for the Blue Devils, playing 28 minutes, while four of their five starters playing more than White’s 28 minutes, as Jared Harper and Bryce Brown led the way with 43 minutes.

It won’t be surprising to see the Blue Devils in a full court press on defense to start this game out to try and wear the legs down of the Tigers who had to give it their all for 45 minutes.

If Duke can tire out Auburn relatively early they could take complete control late in the first half and cruise to a easy victory in the second half, but don’t expect a Bruce Pearl led team to just lay down.

Expect to see Tre Jones and R.J. Barrett pushing the defensive tempo in this game and trying to force a lot of early turnovers in the backcourt leading to easy transition baskets for the Blue Devils.

Peal is one of the more animated coaches on the sidelines, almost like a Buzz Williams at Virginia Tech, but he always has his teams ready to play in big games and for the Tigers, this is the biggest of the season so far despite playing then No. 25 Washington and Xavier.

The Auburn Tigers are a good team, but very underrated because everyone looks at the Kentucky Wildcats as the class of the SEC, but the Tigers won the SEC Regular Season Championship outright last year.

The Blue Devils will prevail in the end and set up a date with either No. 3 Gonzaga or Arizona in the Maui Invitational Championship.

Stay tuned to Ball Durham at our Twitter, @Ball_Durham, or here at our website, balldurham.com, for complete coverage of the Duke Blue Devils vs. the Auburn Tigers.