Duke basketball: Tennessee holds off late charging Louisiana to advance

Duke basketball opponent Tennessee (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Duke basketball opponent Tennessee (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team knows its opponent in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. 

It was not the prettiest game in the world but the Duke basketball team knows who it will be playing in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tennessee Volunteers held off a late charge from the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to confirm its date with the Blue Devils on Saturday.

Tennessee led by as many as 18 points, 45-27, in the second half before Louisiana came charging to cut its deficit to five points, 50-45, with 6:33 left.

Rick Barnes’ team scored the next four points to push its lead back to nine, 54-45, but the Ragin’ Cajuns had another run in them to get its deficit to three, 56-53, with 23.1 seconds left but could not get any closer.

ALSO READ: Duke smothers Oral Roberts to cruise into Round of 32

Free throws from Josiah-Jordan James and Julian Philips iced the game as Tennessee won, 58-55.

The Volunteers saw a balanced offensive attack with eight different players scoring in the victory as senior Tyreke Key led the way with 12 points off the bench as Jahami Mashack, who only averages 4.5 points per game, went for 11 points.

Tennessee shot 45.7-percent from the floor but only connected on 25.0-percent of its 3-pointers and 57.1-percent of its free throws.

Zakai Zeigler, who tore his ACL in late February, will not play for the remainder of the season.

Duke basketball could have major challenge from Tennessee

Tennessee only allowed Louisiana to score 19 points in the first half and its defense controlled the tempo of the game as the Ragin’ Cajuins shot just 29.6-percent from the floor in the first half with eight turnovers.

Louisiana was able to shoot 50.0-percent in the second half, scoring 36 points after halftime, but could not come up with enough defensive stops to pull off the upset.

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Duke controlled things from start to finish in its Round of 64 matchup against Oral Roberts.

The Blue Devils opened up a 15-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the game, winning 74-51.

The winner of Duke and Tennessee will go to Madison Square Garden next week for the Sweet 16.

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