Duke basketball: Scouting former March Madness darling, Oral Roberts

Duke basketball opponents Max Abmas (Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball opponents Max Abmas (Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team prepares for Oral Roberts in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Cinderella of the NCAA Tournament from two years ago, Oral Roberts, drew the Duke basketball team in the Round of 64 on Thursday night in a matchup that many believe could be the best of the opening round.

Selection Sunday did no favors for the Blue Devils, the ACC Champions, which received a No. 5 seed in it quest for a sixth championship and a matchup against one of the best mid-major programs in the country.

Oral Roberts (30-4) possess one of the best scorers in the nation, Max Abmas, who averages 22.2 points per contest.

Abmas was one of the leaders of the Golden Eagle team that made a run to the Sweet 16 two seasons ago where he scored 29 points in an upset against No. 2 seed Ohio State, 26 points against No. 7 seed Florida, and 25 points in a 2-point loss against No. 3 seed Arkansas.

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However, Oral Roberts did not play a major conference team this season and in its lone game against an outstanding foe, eventual No. 1 seed Houston, the senior was limited to just three points on 1-of-13 shooting from the field and 1-of-9 from 3-point range.

The game resulted in a 38-point loss for Oral Roberts and it was one of just two games, a 39-point victory over South Dakota State, in which Abmas did not score at least 12 points.

Duke basketball defense must be prepared for potent attack

Connor Vanover, the 7-foot-5 center, is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 points per contest but only averages 7.2 rebounds per contest despite his size advantage while Isaac McBride is the only other player posting double digits with 11.9 points per game.

Oral Roberts, as a team, averages 84.2 points per game and shoots 47.9-percent from the field, 36.9-percent from 3-point range, and 77.6-percent from the free throw line while only committing 9.4 turnovers per contest.

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The Golden Eagles still have four players on its roster from its miraculous run two years ago, Abmas, Carlos JurgensKareem Thompson, and DeShang Weaver.

None of the players, aside from Abmas, average more than 9.2 points per game this season.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:10p.m. ET. (CBS) on Thursday night from Orlando, Florida.

Next. Jeff Capel guides Pittsburgh to NCAA Tournament thriller. dark