Busting Brackets

March Madness: Power ranking the Sweet 16 teams left in 2024 NCAA Tournament

Gonzaga v Kansas
Gonzaga v Kansas / Chris Gardner/GettyImages
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10. Duke Blue Devils

There are times when the Blue Devils have looked like national title contenders and there have also been times when they’ve looked like a candidate to lose early in the tournament. So far, between defense and a rising star, they’ve looked just fine.

The first game was against America East power Vermont, a program with a history of pulling off upsets. They kept it close at first, down just five points at the break. But Duke held the Catamounts to just 18 points in the second half to coast to a 64-47 victory. Four players had at least 13 points, led by Mark Mitchell with 15 points and five rebounds.

The next battle was against James Madison, who easily handled Wisconsin in the opening round. There were definitely some upset talks about this matchup but the Blue Devils dominated from the opening tip, blowing out the Dukes for a 93-55. It was a historic game for freshman guard Jared McCain, scoring 30 points on 8/11 from three-point range.

Duke will need a big game from McCain and the supporting cast, as they face 1 seed Houston in the Sweet 16. This team has the talent to beat the top teams but are they too young? That remains to be seen.