Duke Routs Iona In 1st Round Of NCAA Tournament

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With one of the most talented freshman classes in recent NCAA history, Duke earned a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Devils probably didn't need to get creative defensively to beat the Gaels, but their experience in a new scheme could pay off if they need to use it again later on in the tournament in a closer matchup.

The Gaels are in their fifth NCAA Tournament in the past seven seasons in what has been a supremely successful run under Tim Cluess. Five Iona players average at least 10 points per game, led by Rickey McGill (13.5), who made only 5-of-22 shots during the league tournament, although he had a career-high 40 points in the regular-season finale. Once they started playing, he could tell Duval was nervous but he kept swinging the ball around the perimeter; he wanted Bagley to feel like this was just another game, too, so he kept feeding the post. Each of them made four 3-pointers, and when the Gaels came out to challenge, Bagley and Wendell Carter Jr. had plenty of room to go to work inside. "Prepare them for the atmosphere being inside of it, versus being on the outside".

"I thought they did a great job coming out aggressive and confident", said Allen, who had 16 points and nine assists.

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

"Everyone in the tournament is good", Krzyzewski said, "but they are experienced good". If the Blue Devils are going to avoid a disappointing first round exit, they've got to get him touches and shot attempts. Junior guard Schadrac Casimir led the charge, scoring eight of Iona's 13 points.

"It would be really surprising to me if I didn't get booed as I walked out onto the court", Allen said.

And the gap between Duke and the Gaels came into full focus about midway through the first half. Carter played just 24 minutes on the day. It was the second consecutive first-round NCAA tournament win for URI. Fatts Russell hit three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points for Rhode Island.

Afterward, he talked about the importance of guard play in March, about how tough the veteran guards of their next opponent, seventh-seeded Rhode Island, are.

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