JMU-Duke Score Predictions: Can the Dukes Beat Duke?

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By JMUSN staff

The Dukes are still dancing!

A commanding victory over Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament has JMU men’s basketball one win away from making the Sweet 16. The Dukes won’t have an easy team advancing, as they’ll face a Blue Blood on Sunday at 5:15 p.m. ET.

The Dukes face the Duke Blue Devils on CBS, with a Sweet 16 spot on the line. Can the Dukes win? Absolutely. Will the Dukes win? The JMU Sports News staff predicts the result of Sunday’s matchup.

Jack Fitzpatrick, JMU Sports News Co-Founder

Look, Duke’s Kyle Filipowski is a much better big man than Wisconsin’s Steven Crowl. Dude is a legit NBA Talent. That’s gonna give T.J. Bickerstaff and Jaylen Carey plenty of issues.

However I think the big men will be able to do enough to keep Filipowski down. Plus JMU’s shooting should positively regress to the mean, and if the Dukes can shoot somewhat well, this will be a 40-minute battle.

Score prediction: JMU 79, Duke 78

Bennett Conlin, JMUSN Co-Founder

This game is winnable. The Dukes didn’t shoot well against Wisconsin (just 29% from 3), and Duke is only 4-3 in its last seven games. JMU enters the game on a 14-game winning streak, as the Dukes are playing their best basketball of the season. The same can’t be said of the Blue Devils.

What gives me pause is the emotional and physical effort needed for Friday’s win over Wisconsin. The Dukes were flying around the court Friday, playing incredible defense for a full 40 minutes.

JMU’s win meant so much to the players, coaches, and fans. They were handling media obligations and celebrating the win well after midnight, while Duke had long completed its 17-point win over Vermont. Can the Dukes match Friday’s effort against a Duke team with multiple NBA prospects?

Score prediction: Duke 77, JMU 73

Editor’s note: Thanks to Three Notch’d Brewing for its advertising support this season.

Ben Hofer, JMUSN Contributor

JMU comes into this one scorching hot, from an aggressive defensive perspective.

Wisconsin played valiantly on defense but Duke will be a much tougher test for a JMU team who was not particularly accurate on the offensive side of the ball against Wisconsin. The Dukes shot the 3 at 29.4%, that number needs to be in the mid 30s to keep up with a high-powered Duke offense.

JMU needs to contain 7-footer Kyle Filipowski. I think TJ Bickerstaff and Jaylen Carey will both be able to limit his production but undoubtedly in my mind this game will come down to JMU’s 3-point percentage. I think JMU edges out Duke, in a back and forth affair.

Score prediction: JMU 67, Duke 63

Daniel Merriman, JMUSN Contributor

JMU easily imposed its pace on Wisconsin. The Dukes were in full control against the top-tier offense from Madison. JMU now faces a true blue blood with tremendous professional potential. 

Wisconsin doesn’t have the NBA draft pedigree that the Blue Devils possess and that is evident at the center position. Kyle FIlipowski is a future lottery pick who is going to be a massive problem for JMU. Jared McCain and Jeremy Roach will also give the Dukes issues at the guard spots.

Thankfully, T.J. Bickerstaff has played “Flip” before in ACC play while attending Boston College last year. This bodes well for JMU during a short prep period. Overall, I think the Dukes are currently the hotter team with better depth and more experience than Duke. JMU is currently on a 14(!!!) game winning streak (The longest active streak in the country).

JMU picked up its second Quad 1 win of the year against the Badgers and looked dominant in the process. I think the Dukes will be in a much closer battle than Friday’s contest, but JMU ultimately will pull out a victory because it has more bodies to throw at the Blue Devils and JMU’s pace will bother a slower Duke team. 

JMU’s defense has to be elite and it needs to hit more shots than their round of 64 affair. I fully believe that JMU is due for a role player to have a signature March Madness explosion. Pencil Julien Wooden, Noah Freidel, or Michael Green III in for 15+ points. My prediction is that the Dukes will win a tight game to punch their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen.

Score prediction: JMU 79, Duke 76

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *