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Basketball Preview - Eastern Michigan at Duke

In the classic battle of an Abrams versus a Patton tank.

The Eagles travel down to Raleigh, they are looking for a game to steal.
Kenneth Bailey
Paul Jackson needs to have a big night.
Kenneth Bailey

This is the matchup of two undefeated teams but that can be a little on the deceiving side. Eastern Michigan has faced Rochester College, Drexel and Goshen. Two of those teams are NAIA and the other one is Division 1. They beat the two NAIA teams by an average margin of 15 and they beat the Division 1 team by 4. Duke has played two exhibition games and two real games. In the exhibition games, they won by an average of 60 points and in the two real games, they won by an average of 28 points.

He also needs a big night.
Kenneth Bailey

In the three games that Eastern Michigan has played, they have scored an average of 80 points while allowing 68 points. They are shooting roughly 52% from the field and their opponents are around 38%. The Eagles are 67% at the charity stripe versus 74% for their opponents. The Eagles get about 12 more rebounds than their opponents on average and 1 more steal. The leading Eagle scorer is Paul Jackson at 18.7 points per game. He is followed by Boubacar Toure with 13 points.

Duke on the other hand, has average 106 points per game while allowing their opponents to score 78. Their field goal percentage is 52% and their opponents are around 39%. Duke is about 69% at the charity stripe and their opponents are 71%. Duke gets about 5 more rebounds than their opponents and roughly 6.5 more steals. Duke has three players that average more than 20 points per game in RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish.

The two teams have faced off twice in the past and have split their victories. Eastern Michigan defeated Duke to open the 1996 NCAA tournament. Duke would later beat Eastern Michigan at home in 2013.

So what is my prediction? If last year’s match against Syracuse is any indication for the Eagles, they will be able to hold it close for the first half but they will not be able to overcome all of Duke’s weapons in the second half. By that time, it will be Duke with 100 versus Eastern Michigan with 70.