Matchups, picks for Sunday games
Louisville's O better second time vs. Duke; McGary difference for Michigan
There are two excellent Elite Eight games slated for Sunday, and I've broken down the biggest keys and made picks for each.
No. 1 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils
Duke was really impressive defensively against Michigan State, and it's clear at this point that Ryan Kelly has a huge impact on this defense. The Blue Devils' defensive efficiency numbers are much better when Kelly plays, and he has both the ability to scrape down in the post to help Mason Plumlee and the length to get back out to the perimeter and challenge shots. I view him as the linebacker of that Duke defense, in that he gets everybody lined up.
On offense, the Blue Devils are really hard to stop when Seth Curry is on, and Louisville is going to need to make him the focal point of its defensive game plan, especially early. When he makes that first shot, you're in trouble. On room-and-rhythm jump shots, he's almost automatic.
Rasheed Sulaimon has made a big difference for this team. He gives the Blue Devils a player who can break you down off the dribble and get to the rim. He was very good against Michigan State, and the Cardinals can't overlook him Sunday.
Having said all those complimentary things about Duke, I still like Louisville to win this game. Here's why.
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