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Duke v Ohio State

It was like the Arizona game in last year's NCAA tournament. They are more athletic than us and that gave us problems on offense. Curry, Dawkins, and Kelly were basically invisible. They couldn't get their shots off and when they did they weren't going in. I'm not sure that is the sole reason Coach K benched them for most of the second half. But that was a big reason we lost.

The only two starters that played fairly well were Rivers and Mason Plumlee. Rivers was his usual self, getting into the lane when he wanted and making a few contested layups. It was a typical game for Rivers. But he scored more because he took more shots. He still needs to develop a better jump shot and make better decisions. Mason did a decent job on Sullinger. He wasn't great defensively and he didn't convert the shots he got on the offensive end. The rest of the team, which consisted of a lot of bench players, didn't really add much. It was mostly Rivers and Plumlee. And they weren't nearly enough to keep up with OSU.

And it wasn't just Sullinger that made it difficult for Duke to keep up with. The rest of the team shot lights out. They moved the ball well and knocked down their open looks. Combine that with the good defense they played and that is why the margin of victory was so large. OSU is probably the better team. I'd give them a slight edge on a neutral court. But like Arizona, they combined a good matchup with a really good performance. Luckily for Duke this wasn't the tournament. They have time to learn from this and figure out what to do next time.

On a side note, Coach K actually went to a zone for a few possessions. This is something I always call for when we play more athletic teams. But because we play man about 99% of the time, we looked really uncomfortable playing zone and it didn't have the intended effect. I don't know how much time they spend practicing zone defenses. But I think it would be smart to try and implement it in games more often. We are extremely likely to see a more athletic team in the tournament at some point. And it would be nice to be able to counteract them if they have a great shooting night like OSU did tonight.