3 Reasons Why Duke Can Beat Kentucky

The Duke Blue Devils are the No. 1 seed in the South Region in the NCAA Tournament, and they're the popular pick to face an undefeated Kentucky team in the National Championship Game. Many think they would lose that game, but here are three reasons why the Blue Devils could be successful against the Wildcats:

1) Jahlil Okafor

Okafor is the favorite to win National Player of the Year and will be the top pick in the NBA Draft – some scouts think of him as a better prospect than last year’s No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, and it’s easy to see why. He has a fully developed post game, quick feet, soft hands, and runs the floor well. Okafor has also developed into a solid defender at Duke, and he seems destined to be the next great NBA big man.

Kentucky has a plethora of talented big men headlined by Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns, but if anyone can have success against them, it's Okafor.

2) Three-point shooting

Even though Okafor is the focal point on offense, Duke’s calling card is still long-range shooting. Okafor’s dominance in the paint has forces opposing defenses to collapse, creating more open shots for Duke’s talented shooters. They make 38.6 percent of the three-pointers as a team, good for 30th in the country.

Quinn Cook is the team’s leading shooter from behind the arc (41.5 percent), but every perimeter player Duke puts on the floor is capable of going off from long range. If they get hot from three-point land, they can beat anyone in the country.

3) Offensive efficiency

An advantage the Blue Devils have over the other teams that came close to beating Kentucky is their efficiency. Duke is shooting over 50 percent from the floor (third in the country), and that efficiency has turned them into the 4th highest scoring team in the country (80.6 points per game). Their offensive production hasn’t been stopped all season, though they haven't faced a defense as though as Kentucky's.

Duke will still be heavy underdogs against the Wildcats, but they have as good of a chance to beat Kentucky as anyone because of these three reasons.

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