No. 2 seed Duke got 21 points from Grayson Allen off the bench and a double-double from Jayson Tatum, breezing past No. 15 seed Troy in the first round of the East Region in Greenville, South Carolina on Friday night.
The Blue Devils connected on 10 first-half 3-pointers which gave them a cushion of 14 points heading into the locker room. The offensive execution isn’t all that surprising. Duke has more than enough offensive weapons to impose its will on a defense that ranked below 200 in efficiency, according to kenpom. While the Blue Devils lit it up from distance, Troy struggled, which isn’t exactly the best way to go about an upset.
Tatum registered 18 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Matt Jones and Frank Jackson each recording 14. The Trojans were led by 18 points from Jordon Varnado and 15 from Wesley Person.
The Trojans snapped a streak of six consecutive losing seasons, won 13 more games than they did the previous season, and claimed the Sun Belt Tournament Championship despite entering the postseason as the league’s No. 6 seed. They return both Varnado and Person.
For Duke, the second offers an interesting matchup, regardless of who wins the Nos. 7-10 game. On one hand you have Marquette, led by a Coach K protege, Steve Wojciechowski, a player turned coach who spent almost two full decades with the Hall of Famer. His team is deep and can really put points on the board. The other second round opponent would be South Carolina, a physical and experienced team playing very close to campus.