Seth Davis: "Duke Could Get Beat"

Davis has the Blue Devils winning it all, but he won't be stunned if they don't

Tiki and Tierney
March 19, 2019 - 8:53 pm

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The Duke Blue Devils (29-5) are the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and are heavy favorites to win the national championship. CBS Sports college basketball reporter Seth Davis, in fact, has the Blue Devils winning it all.

But we won’t be stunned if they don’t.

“Duke could get beat,” Davis said on Tiki & Tierney. “First of all, Duke was extremely fortunate with Zion to beat North Carolina in the semis of the ACC. North Carolina shot the ball terribly from three-point range, and they still had a possession at the end of the game to win.”

Indeed, UNC shot 4-of-27 (14.8 percent) from three and still came within one shot of beating Duke for the third time this season.

“So this notion that Duke is so overpowering – I’ve got them picked to win the championship. I do think they’re the best team,” Davis said. “They are the best defensive team in the country, and I might make the argument that they’re the best defensive team Mike Krzyzewski has ever had. But they’re also a horrible three-point-shooting team and a pretty bad free-throw-shooting team. And of course they start four freshmen. You just never know how those guys are going to react in a pressurized situation. You slow the game down, you take care of the ball a little bit, make them play half-court offense, half-court defense, and maybe they’re a little bit out of their comfort zone.”

While many people have Duke penciled into an Elite Eight matchup with Michigan State, Davis reminded listeners that the Blue Devils could face No. 4 Virginia Teach in the Sweet 16. The Hokies beat Duke, 77-72, in February. 

Yes, Duke was without Zion Williamson, but Virginia Tech was without point guard Justin Robinson, who averaged 13.7 points and a team-high 5.2 assists this season.

“He’s back,” Davis said of Robinson, “and they have that familiarity having played them. And of course Michigan State’s had an outstanding year. Duke is my pick to win it all, but it’s not easy to win these six games, and they’re going to have to play well – and maturely – to do it."

Click below to listen to Davis' interview in its entirety.