No. 10 Rhode Island lays out plan to upset No. 2 Duke

After a first-round showdown with Trae Young, the Rhode Island Rams’ path throughout the NCAA Tournament doesn’t get much easier, with a Saturday tilt with No. 2 Duke.

The Rams (26-7) overwhelmed the Sooners, making Young attempt to beat them himself. Instead, Rhode Island used a total team effort, with four players in double digits and two of their top scorers coming off the bench. Rhode Island shot better from 3-point range (39.3 percent) than they did from the field overall (39.0 percent), and according to coach Dan Hurley, that’s the plan on Saturday.

Scoring wasn’t an issue for Iona in its first-round matchup with Duke, but the Blue Devils but the pressure on in the second half and the Gaels simply couldn’t keep pace.

Duke was sloppy on rotations when its zone was broken down, which is what Hurley plans to take advantage of. They’ll have to knock down open shots when they’re there, which is where Iona faltered, shooting 20.8 percent from distance.

But when it comes to shutting down the Blue Devils, will he have an answer?

Four of five Duke starters finished the game in double-digits. The Blue Devils connected on 43.3 percent of its 3-point attempts, and feasted on the paint with a stunning 53 .7 percent made from the field overall.

Against Rhode Island’s guard-heavy lineup, the Blue Devils should see their fair share of mismatches in the paint yet again.

Duke will play No. 7 Rhode Island in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

The Rams eliminated Trae Young and No. 10 Oklahoma in an overtime thriller, 83-78, in their first-round matchup Thursday afternoon.

After winning the National Championship in 2014-15, Duke fell in the regional semifinal in 2015-16 and saw a second-round exit just last season.

The post No. 10 Rhode Island lays out plan to upset No. 2 Duke appeared first on Diehards.

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