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Home > 2012 NCAA Tournament > NCAA Tournament Predictions: South 2. Duke vs. 15. Lehigh

NCAA Tournament Predictions: South 2. Duke vs. 15. Lehigh

By: Kels Dayton

 2 Duke (27-6, 13-3 ACC)-Duke owns some impressive wins this season, including November triumphs over Kansas, Michigan State, and Michigan and a last-second win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Guard Austin Rivers (Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images)

Still, this not a vintage Duke team. The Blue Devils rely far too much on the three-pointer, which they shoot at an alarming rate.

Duke jacked up 713 three-pointers this season, which ranked 33rd-most among Division 1 teams. They shot the three at 37.6 percent, which was 40th among Division 1 teams during the non-conference season. But once conference play began, the Devils shot a paltry 35.8 percent from three-point range, which ranked them 113th in the nation over that stretch.

You live by the three, and you die by the three. And that’s why Duke is a prime target to go down early in the Big Dance.

The Blue Devils are led by freshman sensation Austin Rivers, who averaged 15.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season. Backcourt mate Seth Curry added 13.4 points per game, and sweet-shooting big man Ryan Kelly had a solid year (11.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg).

KEY STATS:

16th Points per game (77.5)

78th Field Goal Percentage (.458)

204th Assists per game (12.5)

Team stats courtesy www.statsheet.com.

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 15 Lehigh (26-7, 11-3 Patriot League)- The Mountain Hawks come into this game having won 12 of 13, including a Patriot League Championship Game win on the road at Bucknell, which is never an easy place to play.

Guard C.J. McCollum (AP Photo)

6-3 Junior guard C.J. McCollum is a legitimate player for Lehigh, averaging 21.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

Forward Gabe Knutson has also been a solid contributor for the Mountain Hawks, putting up 12.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

The Mountain Hawks are small up front, with no player who stands taller than 6-9.

Lehigh gave top-seeded Kansas a run for its money in 2010, eventually falling to the Jayhawks 90-74.

KEY STATS:

28th Points per game (76.2)

98th Rebounds per game (35.9)

112th Field Goal Percentage (.449)

Stats courtesy of www.espn.com.

 

 

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Categories: 2012 NCAA Tournament
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