Duke vs. Houston NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: How to watch, odds and predictions for March Madness

Here is the broadcast info, odds, and predictions for Duke's Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament game against Houston.

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Brooklyn
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Brooklyn / Elsa/GettyImages

Duke and Houston are set to meet in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night. This will be arguably the most anticipated matchup of the Sweet 16 as two powerhouse college basketball programs battle for the right to move one step closer to the Final Four.

Interestingly, this will be the first time these name-brand programs have meet on the hardwood. Of course, the stakes couldn't be much higher with both programs having plans on winning the South Region.

This will be a pseudo road game for the Blue Devils with Houston being just a fews hours away from Dallas. However, Blue Devil nation will show up in droves as well meaning that this game could have an electric atmosphere. It is certainly a game no college basketball fan will want to miss.

How to watch Duke vs. Houston in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

Date: Friday, March 29, 2024 Time: 9:39 PM ET Channel: CBS Streaming: NCAA March Madness Live, fuboTV Announcers: Ian Eagle, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson

Duke vs. Houston NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 odds

Duke vs. Houston NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 prediction

Guard play will be on display Friday night in "Big D". That's what drives the Houston Cougars on both ends of the floor and it is what has propelled Duke through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament thus far.

Houston will apply tremendous ball pressure on defense and try to take Duke out of its offensive rhythm. Of course, plenty of attention will be on limiting the 3-point shot attempts of Jared McCain.

The players that Duke fans should be focused on, though, are Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor. Between them, they average just 2.6 turnovers per game and they must continue to take care of the ball against a Houston team that forces 10 steals per game. What's more, they have to find ways to set up McCain with open looks from 3-point range.

Also, Kyle Filipowski had better bring a bag of knuckles to this game. Houston isn't a tall team but its post players are rugged and they will look to body Duke's star post player and make him uncomfortable.

Of course, how this game is officiated will also be key. In the second-round win over Texas A&M, Houston had four starters foul out as the officials didn't let slide much of what Houston was accustomed to getting away with in the Big 12 where basketball games often resemble cage matches. The Aggies couldn't make the Cougars pay for that but Duke might be good enough to take advantage of Houston's foul trouble.

I like Duke in this game by a slim margin. That's because the Devils have a number of guards that can score. Between Roach, McCain, and Proctor, there should be enough backcourt scoring to spread the Houston defense a bit thinner than it would normally like to be.

Also, Filipowski is the most skilled post player in this game. His ability to play away from the basket could open things up for the Devils. Of course, he will have to avoid foul trouble himself as he's likely in for some hand-to-hand combat in the paint.

Houston is a team that doesn't score all that efficiently. Jamal Shead often has to play the role of hero late in the shot clock and bail his team out on offense. I don't know if that is sustainable against a Duke team that can score better than most teams that Houston has seen this year. Can Shead be enough of an offensive threat, both when it comes to scoring and assisting, to outscore a balanced Duke attack? Likely not.

If Duke shoots anywhere near as well from 3-point range on Friday as it did on Sunday against James Madison, Houston may not be able to keep pace. Even if Duke has just a slightly above-average game in that regard, it will be enough for the Devils to prevail.

Final Score: Duke 70 - Houston 66