NCAA Tournament Predictions: 2. Duke vs. 15. Albany

Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee

 Duke (27-5, 14-4 ACC)- The Blue Devils are flawed, but they’re also as dangerous as any team in this tournament. Depending on which Duke team shows up, the Devils could be done by the weekend or still dancing in the Final Four in Atlanta. They’ve got the talent to get there. All-American candidate Mason Plumlee (17.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg) is a monster down low, and has the potential to dominate a region the way Brian Zubek did in 2010.

Seth Curry (17 ppg) is hit-or-miss, but if he’s on, Duke is tough to stop. The reintroduction of Ryan Kelly (14.3 ppg) into the lineup looked to be a major factor when he went all Adrian Peterson on everyone and dominated in his return, scoring 36 points in a home win over Miami (FL). Duke was cruising along after that win, but the quarterfinal round loss to Maryland in the ACC tournament brings them back to square one.

Regardless, Duke has the talent and experience to bring home the golden trophy. It’s up to them whether or not they can get it done.


7th Points Per Game (78.3)
17th Field Goal Percentage (.476)


Mike Black

Mike Black

 15 Albany (24-10, 9-7 America East)- The good news for Albany: Duke lost to a 15-seed in the first round last year. The bad news? It ain’t happening twice in a row. Lehigh stunned the Blue Devils behind CJ McCollum, who is now a projected lottery pick in the NBA Draft. Albany doesn’t have anybody like that on their roster, but they do have a ton of experience in the backcourt in seniors Mike Black (14.9 ppg) and Jacob Iati (12.1 ppg).

Albany won the America East title thanks in part to having home court advantage as the 4-seed over top-seeded Stony Brook in the semis (that round was played in Albany for some reason). The Great Danes do own a win over Washington and had a great non-conference record.


146th Field Goal Percentage (.438)

217th Rebounds Per Game (33.6)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *