Duke's season continued into the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday after the Blue Devils blew out Iona 89-67 in Pittsburgh.
N.C. State couldn't overcome an early deficit in losing 94-83 to Seton Hall, despite a career-best 36 points from Allerick Freeman in his final game in a Wolfpack uniform. Coach Kevin Keatts' first season at the helm ended with a 21-12 record.
Here is our coverage of the first day of the tournament:
Martha Quillin says that serious UNC, Duke and NC State basketball fans know deep in the soul that’s it’s their own obsessive-compulsive adherence to rituals and superstitions that gets their teams to and through the NCAA tournament.
As former UNC broadcaster Woody Durham used to say: "Go where you go. Do what you do."
Freeman's best not good enough
Allerik Freeman definitely showed up for N.C. State against Seton Hall, scoring 36 points to keep the Wolfpack in the first-round NCAA tournament game in Wichita, Kansas.
The Pirates built a big first-half lead, and the Wolfpack was never able to overcome it. Omer Yurtseven fouled out with five minutes left with two points.
A good, first step
Despite losing to Seton Hall, the N.C. State players and coach Kevin Keatts believe this season was the first step to his program becoming a perennial NCAA tournament team.
Keatts took a team with few expectations and led it to 11 ACC wins and an NCAA tournament bid.
“I heard the noise about overachieving and I never wanted to say that because I didn’t want to cheat the guys in the locker room that work hard all the time,” Keatts said. “But these guys played pretty doggone good to put us in this position we were in here.”
An Angel likes the Devils
Martha Hunt, a supermodel from Wilson who is a Victoria's Secret Angel, frequently shows her love for Duke basketball with tweets and shots on Instagram.
She said she became a fan because of her Duke fan father.
Blue Devils cruise
Marvin Bagley tallied 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting as No. 2 seed Duke easily defeated No. 15 seed Iona in Pittsburgh. The other Blue Devils freshmen also played well, as did senior Grayson Allen.
Up next: Hurley's Rams
Before Duke disposed of Iona, No. 7 seed Rhode Island needed overtime to defeat Oklahoma. The Rams are coached by Dan Hurley, the brother of former Duke star Bobby Hurley.
Duke's defense must improve
Luke DeCock says any defensive lapses by Duke against Iona were offset by the Blue Devils' offensive firepower, particularly freshman big man Marvin Bagley III. If Trevon Duval and Grayson Allen continue to shoot well, Duke will be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.
However, the Blue Devils will have to shore up their defense if they're to make a deep run.
No freshmen jitters
Jonathan Alexander says the NCAA tournament big stage did not bother the Duke freshmen as Trevon Duval and Marvin Bagley III dominated the Gaels. Wendell Carter Jr. also played well despite being hobbled with a sore foot.
This story will be updated.