Is #4 Duke a Winning Pick for the 2019 March Madness Tournament?

Is #4 Duke a Winning Pick for the 2019 March Madness Tournament?

Duke heads into the ACC Tournament looking like one of the best teams in the nation. However, the Duke Blue Devils have struggled with Zion Williamson out with an ankle injury. Zion’s back according to Coach K. Does that mean Duke is worth a look to win the 2019 March Madness tournament even though they offer the lowest odds to win the 2019 College Basketball Championship on the board?

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Is #4 Duke a Winning Pick for the 2019 March Madness Tournament?

  • Current Record:  29-2
  • Current Odds to Win the 2019 College Basketball Championship: +225

Reasons Duke Won’t Win it All

The Blue Devils have mightily struggled with Williamson on the bench. Duke lost to North Carolina 72-88 in the game where Zion went down. They followed that up with a win over Syracuse, but then Virginia Tech beat them 72-77. They dominated doormat Miami before struggling against another ACC doormat, Wake Forest, in a 71-70 win on March 5.

Even if Williamson comes back, Duke must prove that it can get back to where it was before he went down. The truth is that the Blue Devils showed some weakness even with Zion on the court. They had to come back down 23 against Louisville, didn’t cover in a win over NC State, and lost straight up to Syracuse.

Reasons Duke Will Win it All

The Blue Devils are the only team to beat Virginia this season. The Cavaliers allow 54.1 points per game, but in two wins, the Blue Devils decimated Virginia’s defense. Duke scored 72 in the first game. They dominated Virginia in the second game with 81 points.

Beating Virginia isn’t the only reason to like the Blue Devils. With Zion on the court, the entire floor opens up for excellent players like R.J. Barrett and Tre Jones. If Williamson does play, both Barrett and Jones become that much more difficult to deal with.

When everything’s working, Duke is the best team in the nation. Oh, there’s also the fact that Coach K has won 5 NCAA Championships and almost always gets the best out of his team during the NCAA Tournament.

Bottom Line:  With Zion, Duke Can Win it All, But…

No doubt if Zion Williamson laces up the shoes for the NCAA Tournament, the Duke Blue Devils can win it all. They boast the most talented team in the nation with the greatest coach in college basketball history calling the shots. But, one thing Coach K can’t do is help his team grow older.

The Blue Devils are incredibly young. They’ve shown immaturity at times during the season, like falling behind Louisville by 23 points, or giving up after Zion went down in the loss to North Carolina.

Zion makes a difference, but he doesn’t make enough of a difference. At the current odds, the Duke Blue Devils are a play against.


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