Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday Morning Recap

Short version: not great. The lock was Duke, the hedge was the over, and Jahlil Okafor over 18 points seemed fair. 

Okafor was solid - he finished with 22 points on just 10-18 shooting (and just 2-7 free throws), 17 rebounds, and largely he looked like the talented big man that he is, up until the very end.

The over was either 149.5 or 150 so you either won or pushed. The teams combined to leave 15 points at the free throw line. So there you go. 

As for the lock, I don't even know what happened. Duke went up 6-2 early, then ND went up 25-18, then Duke went back up and led 39-36 at half. 

The largest lead was Duke's 60-51 advantage following a Jahlil dunk, and it could have been a dagger if it was later than 6 minutes into the second half. The Irish battled back and Jerian Grant tied it at 69 with four minutes left. From that point on, ND shot 2-3 from the field and 3-6 from the foul line; Duke closed the game 0-3 from the field (including 2 from inside the paint) and 4-7 from the line (including 0-2 for Okafor). 

So, turns out that the eye test from a couple weeks ago was correct about Duke not being that great. They now have losses at NC State and Notre Dame, and a blowout home loss to Miami. 

The Irish, on the other hand, are in complete control of the 2-seed in the ACC. Of their nine remaining conference games, 6 are against teams in the bottom half of the conference. ND has to go to Duke and Louisville, but a win in their final ACC game at home against Clemson could very well put them at 15-3 or 16-2 for the year. When you look at Virginia's remaining schedule, they have to go on the road to North Carolina, Syracuse, and Louisville - so you never know. 

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