A pair of ACC teams battle it out in the Sweet 16 on Friday night, as second-seeded Duke takes on No. 11 Syracuse inside the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. Its the third time these prestigious programs have met in the NCAA tournament, with the Blue Devils winning the first two matchups in 1966 and 1998.
The game is scheduled to start at about 9:37 p.m. ET (25 minutes after the conclusion of Kansas vs Clemson, which starts at 7:07 p.m. ET) and will be broadcast nationally on CBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Amazon Prime: If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch a live stream of your local CBS channel via the CBS All-Access Amazon Channel, which comes with a 7-day free trial. Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can watch CBS live on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone, tablet or other streaming device via the the Amazon Video app.
Hulu With Live TV: If you want an extensive Netflix-like on-demand streaming library in addition to live TV, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including CBS (live in select markets). You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of CBS on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
FuboTV: CBS (live in select markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Note: You can also watch any tournament game on your computer via the March Madness Live website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the March Madness Live app. To watch these streams, you’ll have a free preview before needing to sign in to a TV provider to keep watching, but if you don’t have cable, you can do this by logging in with your Hulu credentials.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons between this year’s Syracuse team and the 2015-16 group. That team lost 13 games during the regular season, went 9-9 in the ACC, was inconsistent for most of year, received a 10 seed in the tournament, then finally put things together for a surprising run to the Final Four. This year’s team lost 13 games during the regular season, went 8-10 in the ACC, was inconsistent for most of the year, received an 11 seed (and a play-in game) in the tournament, and is now finally putting things together.
The key to both runs is defense. When Jim Boeheim’s famed 2-3 zone is clicking, teams often have an incredibly difficult time creating many clean looks. Here’s what the Orange have done against their first three opponents this tournament, with those opponents’ national adjusted offensive efficiency rank in parenthesis:
Arizona State (17th): 0.93 points per possession; 56 points
TCU (9th): 0.87 points per possession; 52 points
Michigan State (14th): 0.88 points per possession; 53 points
Whew. Three really good offensive opponents, and three tremendous defensive performances.
And they’ll get another large test on Friday night in the form of Duke, who ranks third in the country in offensive efficiency, first in offensive rebounding percentage (a major problem area when you play zone defense), 16th in effective field-goal percentage and 40th in three-point percentage.
For what it’s worth, Syracuse’s defense held its own against Duke’s group of offensive stars during their lone regular-season meeting in February, limiting the Blue Devils to just 60 points on 64 possessions. The only problem, though, the Orange offense had no answer for Duke’s own zone, scoring an anemic 44 points of their own.
For as well as Syracuse’s defense has played, though, they’ve still won their three tournament games by a combined 11 points. Duke, meanwhile, has taken care of Iona and Rhode Island by a total of 47 points and established themselves as the bettors’ national title favorites. As such, the Blue Devils are the biggest favorites of the Sweet 16 with a spread of 11.5 points.
Still, Syracuse was a similarly-sized underdog against Michigan State, and we saw how that went. Their slow-it-down, grind-it-out style of play allows them to keep most games close and compete with anyone, even if it isn’t always pretty.
The Orange’s run from 2016 included a win over a top-seeded ACC team–Virginia–that had beaten them earlier in the year. Can history repeat itself on Friday night, or will Duke continue its recent run of dominance? Odds are on the latter, but the NCAA tournament has taught us that anything can happen.
Source: Heavy Sports