3 Teams Duke Wants to Avoid in the South Region

The Duke Blue Devils should hope to not face these teams on their side of the bracket on their way to the Final Four.
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#1 Houston

This is a no-brainer. Every team in every region would like to avoid the best team if possible. Duke will potentially match up with the Houston Cougars in the Sweet 16 and they will have a mountain to climb.

Houston completely obliterated the competition in the Big 12 in their first season there. They arguably have the best defense in the country, only allowing 87.2 points per 100 possessions, adjusted by the opponent, according to KenPom. They regularly hold teams under 50 points, and when they are locked in, they are the hardest team to score on.

However, they are more vulnerable now than they have been. Coach Kelvin Sampson is dealing with a ton of injuries with three rotation players (Terrance Arcenaux, Joseph Tugler, and Ramon Walker) all out.

Their short-handedness came to bite them in the Big 12 championship game when they completely ran out of gas against Iowa State, losing 69-41.

The Cougars' offense can get stuck in the mud in the half-court, so they rely on forcing turnovers to get out and run. Even when they are short-handed, they are a tough team to play against. They will get their hands on the ball, deflect passes, and make it hard at the rim.

The Blue Devils need to play close to a perfect game to beat this well-coached, tough, and physical team. It's better to hope that another team upsets Houston before the Sweet 16 round.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, Duke currently has the third-best odds (+650) in the South Region to make the Final Four, behind Houston and Marquette. Head over to FanDuel now and you can win a guaranteed $250 bonus with any $5 bet.

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