Game preview: Duke vs. Arizona

Posted by Laura Keeley on November 29, 2013 

Shooting from 3-point range could be key against Arizona's frontcourt size

CHUCK LIDDY

No. 6 Duke vs. No. 4 Arizona

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York

TV/Radio: ESPN, WKIX-102.9 FM

Line: Arizona by 3

Projected starting lineups:

No. 4 Arizona (6-0)

G T.J. McConell, Jr., 6.2 ppg, 6.2 apg

G Nick Johnson, Jr., 17.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg

F Brandon Ashely, So., 10.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg

F Aaron Gordon, Fr., 12.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg

C Kaleb Tarczewski, So., 9.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg

No. 6 Duke (6-1)

G Quinn Cook, Jr., 13.4 ppg, 6.4 apg

G Tyler Thornton, Sr., 3.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg

F Rodney Hood, R-So., 19.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg

F Jabari Parker, Fr., 23.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg

F Josh Hairston, 2.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg

Observations:

***The Wildcats are among the biggest teams in the country in the frontcourt. Tarczewski is 7 feet teal and weighs 235 pounds. Ashely is 6-foot-8, 230 pounds and Gordon is 6-foot-9, 225 at the 3. Freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, is a key contributor off the bench, averaging 9.0 points per game and 3.5 rebounds in 20.8 minutes.

Thanks to that size, the Wildcats are shooting 56.8 percent inside the arc and are averaging 19 more points per game in the paint than their opponents.

***Both teams have a strong history in the NIT Season Tip-Off: Arizona is 21-2 all time, and the Blue Devils are 25-2. Duke is riding a 15-game win streak in the tournament, with its last loss coming on Nov. 29, 1996 against Indiana. The Blue Devils have won four titles (1985, 2000, 2005 and 2009) and the Wildcats have three (1990, 1995 and 1999).

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