No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Cal State Fullerton NCAA Tournament

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Cal State Fullerton | NCAA Tournament Betting Odds, Analysis and Picks

This will be the final NCAA Tournament ever for the greatest coach in college basketball history, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, as No. 2 Blue Devils open West Region action on Friday as big favorites on the NCAAB odds against No. 15 Cal State Fullerton.

How to Bet Duke vs. CSU Fullerton NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Duke?

Duke (28-6) mostly sailed through a mediocre ACC in the regular season, but it also owns victories over Kentucky and Gonzaga. And 12 of its 16 ACC wins were by double digits. The Blue Devils fit the profile of past national champions, even though they’re 44th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Duke is led by Paolo Banchero, the ACC Freshman of the Year and first-team All-ACC. Banchero leads all power conference true freshmen in field goal percentage (.474) while ranking second in scoring (17.0), rebounding (7.8) and double-doubles (10). He has scored 20+ points in 13 contests, the third-most by an ACC player and tied for the most among true freshmen nationally. Banchero enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 18.8 points, 5.5 boards and 4.8 assists on .537 shooting over his last six games.

Sophomore Mark Williams has been named one of four finalists for the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. Williams leads the ACC and ranks 12th nationally in blocked shots per game (2.76), while his 94 total blocks are the fifth most in the NCAA. He has 27 games with multiple rejections this season, the third-most nationally and tied for the most among power conference players. The ACC Defensive Player of the Year is also seventh in the league in rebounds (7.4), while his 7.9 boards in conference play ranked third.

Junior Wendell Moore enters the NCAA Tournament ranking third in the ACC in assists (4.6), 15th in steals (1.50) and fourth in assist/turnover ratio (2.25). The second-team All-ACC pick is the nation’s only power conference player shooting .500+ from the field, .400+ from three-point range, averaging 5.0+ rebounds and 4.0+ assists. He is Duke’s second leading scorer at 13.5 points per game and third leading rebounder (5.4).

The Blue Devils earned their 44th all-time bid to the NCAA Tournament — fifth most in NCAA history — and the 36th under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, breaking a tie with Jim Boeheim for most appearances by a head coach.  Duke is 114-38 (.750) all-time in the NCAA Tournament, marking the best winning percentage in tournament history. Duke’s 114 wins are also third-most in the event’s history and Coach K holds the NCAA record with 97 NCAA Tournament wins.

Friday marks the first all-time meeting between Duke and Cal State Fullerton. Duke is 4-0 all-time against teams from the Big West.

Why Bet on Cal State Fullerton?

The Titans (21-10) upset Big West regular-season champion Long Beach State 72-71 in the conference tournament title game on Saturday to punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history and first since 2018.

With the Titans up one, Long Beach had possession of the ball with the shot clock off, but the Titans defense stifled the attack to not allow a shot and secure the Big West Tournament Championship. Fullerton’s defense was a key component in the second half, forcing eight Long Beach turnovers for a total of 18 in the game. Fullerton star EJ Anosike finished with a team-high 22 points and eight rebounds. Anosike was named the Big West Conference Tournament MVP after averaging a double-double with 18 points per game and 13.7 rebounds.

Damari Milstead has been a steady force for the Titans all season long. He finished the year second on the team behind Anosike with 12.1 points per game which ranked 15th in the Big West Conference. Milstead stepped his game up when the Titans needed him most in the Big West Tournament, leading the team in scoring 19.7 points per game.

Coach Dedrique Taylor is now the most accomplished coach in Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball history. Taylor is the first coach in program history to lead the Titans to the NCAA Tournament on two separate occasions. Furthermore, he is the first coach to have two 20+ win seasons and is the first coach to have 10+ conference wins in four different seasons.

With Anosike (16.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG) on the floor this season, the Titans have held their opponents to just 91 points per 100 possessions, per hooplens.com. The Titans made 76.4% of their free throws this season, a top-50 mark in college basketball.

Cal State Fullerton led the Big West Conference in steals per game, averaging 7.26 per game. They also finished tied for first in total steals on the season with 225. Milstead led the conference in steals, with 61 over 31 games, an average of 2 per game, which is the most in the Big West.

Game Trends

  • Titans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
  • Titans are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
  • Titans are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Blue Devils are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
  • Blue Devils are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 Friday games.
  • Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Blue Devils are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

Expert Prediction

  • Duke 80, Cal State Fullerton 65
 
 

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