Busting Brackets

Duke vs Texas Tech: 2022 NCAA Tournament game preview, TV schedule

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Either Duke or Texas Tech will be playing in the finals of the NCAA Tournament West Region. Who does this matchup benefit?

TV schedule: Thursday, March 24th, 9:39 pm ET. (Approx) CBS

Arena: Chase Center in San Francisco, California

This year’s NCAA Tournament has featured many storylines but the one that remains is Duke Basketball and Coach K’s looming retirement whenever the next loss comes. And it very well could come on Thursday against Texas Tech, who many have as a favorite to beat them.

The Blue Devils nearly lost to Michigan State in the Round of 32, trailing by five points with a few minutes left. But they were able to get past Coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans in a nail-biter, gaining some valuable experience for an overall young team that was somewhat reeling about losing to North Carolina and Virginia Tech a week ago.

Their opponent, Texas Tech, also had a tough fight against another ACC opponent in Notre Dame in the Round of 32. It was a back-and-forth battle for all 40 minutes and although the Red Raiders didn’t reach 60 points, they allowed just 53 against the Irish in a six-point victory.

What makes this matchup interesting will be how the Blue Devils deal with Texas Tech’s “no middle” defense. Against another team with a dynamic frontcourt (Gonzaga), Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren combined for just 3/8 from the field in a matchup earlier in the season. They’re going to make sure Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams dont’ beat them inside and have the guards beat them from deep.

Considering Jeremy Roach having a late emergence and AJ Griffin shooting over 45% from three-point range, Duke has the capability to do that. On the other end, Terrence Shannon Jr. having his struggles isn’t a great sign, leaving a lot of the pressure on forwards Bryson Williams and Kevin Obannor to provide most of the offensive production.

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If this game is played at the Red Raiders’ pace, they’ll have a good shot at winning. But they’re going to have to score some points and while Duke’s defense is far from elite, it can be good enough late to get what will be a hard  fought win.

Prediction: Duke 66, Texas Tech 62