Duke's road to the Final Four starts with a tough matchup against No. 15 Iona, and from there it will try to come out of a hard Midwest bracket alive. The Blue Devils are at the other end of the table, being 6 overall in Accuscore simulations to take the National Championship.
The old cliché has been repeated in the NCAA Tournament as much as "Win or go home".
"I wing it", another said.
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This game could see a ton of points and Iona is going to have to score a ton to hang around, but the new and improved Duke defense will be the difference. But doctors said he was in no danger of further injury if he kept playing on it. Each of them made four 3-pointers, and when the Gaels came out to challenge, Bagley and Wendell Carter Jr. had plenty of room to go to work inside.
"We knew they had two bigs that was top in the country, and we tried to get them to shoot, try and beat us that way, try to let them shoot the ball all night", Iona guard Rickey McGill said.
Iona head coach Tim Cluess acknowledged before the game his team, making its third straight NCAA appearance and fifth in the last seven seasons, would have an edge in experience.
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"It would be really surprising to me if I didn't get booed as I walked out onto the court", Allen said.
So there are clearly still some things for the Duke youngsters to learn, a fact that had the coaches and upperclassmen on guard before the game.
Roland Griffin led the Gaels with 21 points off the bench.
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The Duke freshmen were able to focus and post a first-round win in the NCAAs, 89-67 over Iona. Carter played just 24 minutes on the day. The first team in his path is a Gaels squad that won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as the No. 4 seed in the league tournament. The Gaels had no answer, scoring just 28 points after the break and shooting 1-of-15 from 3-point range. Mike Krzyzewski has five national titles and this year's team is once again loaded with talented players looking to make a deep run.