- The #2 Duke Blue Devils are 18.5-point favorites over the #15 Cal State Fullerton Titans in an NCAA Tournament West Regional first-round game on Friday, March 18
- Duke hasn’t lost in the first round of March Madness since 2011-12
- See the Duke vs Cal State Fullerton odds and picks, below
It’s the final go round at March Madness for Duke Blue Devils (28-6, 17-14-3 ATS ) coach Mike Krzyzewski and it all starts with a matchup agains the Cal State Fullerton Titans (21-10, 16-14-1 ATS).
Krzyzewski, who is retiring at the end of the season, has guided the Blue Devils to three NCAA Tournament titles but doesn’t look to have the team to get the job time this time around. Still, Duke figures to have more than enough to dispatch Cal State Fullerton.
Cal State Fullerton vs Duke Odds
|Cal State Fullerton Titans||+1650||+18.5 (-105)||O 145.5 (-110)|
|Duke Blue Devils||-10000||-18.5 (-115)||U 145.5 (-110)|
Odds as of March 17th at BetMGM Sportsbook. See list of BetMGM Sportsbook promos before wagering.
Oddsmakers agree on that point. The Blue Devils are 18.5-point favorites in this West Regional first-round game. Duke is 2-2 straight up and 0-4 against the spread in its last four games as a betting favorite.
Friday’s game at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC is set for a 7:10pm ET tipoff. CBS is carrying the broadcast.
As a betting underdog this season, the Titans are 4-4 SU and 5-2-1 ATS. Cal State Fullerton covered as a 12.5-point under Dec. 8 in a 66-56 loss at San Diego State. That’s certainly something to keep in mind as you plot your March Madness betting strategy.
Duke Isn’t Duke
The uniforms look the same but it’s been quite a few seasons since the Blue Devils ruled over the college basketball empire. Duke’s most recent title win came in 2014-15. Still, Duke’s March Madness winning percentage of .750 (114-38) is the best in NCAA Tournament history.
The Blue Devils haven’t advanced beyond the Elite Eight since. Last year, Duke didn’t even make it to March Madness. Yet despite such dismal recent history, the Blue Devils are sitting seventh in the NCAA Tournament odds at +1650. Duke is also the #2 seed in the West Region. It’s the 20th time in Duke’s last 24 March Madness appearances that the school’s been seeded #2 or better.
— Lauren Walsh (@lauwalsh10) March 17, 2022
ACC regular-season champions, Duke lost to Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament title game. Leading the way for the Blue Devils is ACC Freshman of the Year Paolo Banchero. He’s averaging 17.0 points per game, which ranks second in the nation among all true freshmen. Banchero is sixth in the ACC in scoring and fifth in rebounding (7.8). He’s one of only three league players ranked top 10 in each category.
Mark Williams, Duke’s 7-foot sophomore center, ranks 12th in the NCAA with 2.76 blocked shots per game.
Remember The Titans Last March Madness Win?
Jimmy Carter was in the White House, Dick Vitale was coaching the Detroit Pistons and Reggie Jackson and the New York Yankees ruled over baseball the last time Cal State Fullerton and NCAA Tournament success were mentioned in the same sentence.
Wins over New Mexico and San Francisco moved the Titans into the Regional Finals of the 1978 NCAA Tournament. Cal State Fullerton lost 61-58 to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Since then, there’s been a pair of first-round losses to Wisconsin (2008) and Purdue (2018).
Cal State Fullerton’s team offensive rankings are mostly average, but one thing they do well at is getting to the free throw line, 28th in the nation in free throws made per game with 15.2#Duke
— Duke Basketball In Depth (@DukeInDepth) March 17, 2022
Seeking to end their 44-year March Madness drought, the Big West Tournament champion Titans are led by 6-foot-7 senior forward EJ Aonsike. He’s averaging 16.5 ppg and 8.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Damari Milstead is netting 12.1 ppg while hitting 36.9% of his 3-pointers.
Cal State Fullerton vs Duke Prediction
One thing about Duke, even during their late-season scuffling, the Blue Devils are continuing to score the basketball. Duke is averaging 83 ppg over the past six games. All six of those games have gone over.
Cal State Fullerton struggles to score 70 points and will be facing a signficant size disadvantage when matching up against Duke. The Titans do play a very aggressive brand of defense. They’ve committed on average 7.2 steals per game this season. The problem is that Duke is 19th in the nation, committing just 10.2 turnovers per game.
Cal State Fullerton has a date with Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Can the Titan's pull of the 15-2 upset?pic.twitter.com/Rgpzr9bvZP
— DRF Sports (@DRF_Sports) March 13, 2022
On the other hand, there is the concern that Duke ranked 146th in adjusted defensive efficiency over the last month of the season. Cal State Fullerton is an older, more experienced, which should keep the squad from getting rattled by the challenge in front of them.
The Titans aren’t going to win this game but they’ve been dynamic at covering as an underdog. Take the Titans to do so yet again.
Pick: Cal State Fullerton +18.5 (-105)
Other March Madness Content
First Round Game Previews (Friday)
- Loyola Chicago vs Ohio State Odds and Picks (12:15 pm ET)
- Jacksonville State vs Auburn Picks and Odds (12:40 pm ET)
- Montana State vs Texas Tech Odds, Lines and Spread (1:45 pm ET)
- Yale vs Purdue Picks and Odds (2:00 pm ET)
- Delaware vs Villanova Odds, Lines and Spread (2:45 pm ET)
- Miami vs USC Odds and Picks (3:10pm ET)
- Notre Dame vs Alabama Picks and Odds (4:15 pm ET)
- Virginia Tech vs Texas Odds, Lines and Spread (4:30 pm ET)
- Chattanooga vs Illinois Odds and Picks (6:30 pm ET)
- Iowa State vs LSU Odds, Lines and Spread (7:20 pm ET)
- Wright State vs Arizona Prediction (7:27 pm ET)
- UAB vs Houston Picks and Odds (9:20pm ET)
- Davidson vs Michigan State Odds, Lines and Spread (9:40 pm ET)
- Colgate vs Wisconsin Odds and Picks (9:50 pm ET)
- TCU vs Seton Hall Picks and Odds (9:57 PM ET)
First Round Game Previews (Thursday)
- Michigan vs Colorado State Odds and Picks (12:15 pm ET)
- Providence vs South Dakota State Picks and Odds (12:40 pm ET)
- Memphis vs Boise State Odds, Lines and Spread (1:45 pm ET)
- Norfolk State vs Baylor Odds and Picks (2:00 pm ET)
- Longwood vs Tennessee Picks and Odds (2:45 pm ET)
- Richmond vs Iowa Odds, Lines, and Spread (3:10 pm ET)
- Gonzaga vs Georgia State Odds (4:15 pm ET)
- Marquette vs UNC Picks and Odds (4:30 pm ET)
- New Mexico State vs UConn Odds, Lines, and Spread (6:50 pm ET)
- Saint Peter’s vs Kentucky Odds and Picks (7:10 pm ET)
- Indiana vs Saint Mary’s Picks and Odds (7:20 pm ET)
- Creighton vs San Diego State Odds, Lines, and Spread (7:27 pm ET)
- Vermont vs Arkansas Odds and Picks (9:20 pm ET)
- San Francisco vs Murray State Picks and Odds (9:40 pm ET)
- Akron vs UCLA Odds, Lines, and Spread (9:50 pm ET)
- Texas Southern vs Kansas Odds and Picks (9:57 pm ET)
- East Region Odds — Baylor Earns Top Seed, Kentucky Favored
- Midwest Region Odds See Kansas Favored Over Auburn, Iowa and Wisconsin
- South Region Odds: Arizona +110 Favorites, Tennessee & Houston Sleepers
- West Regional Odds: Gonzaga Odds-On Favorite to Reach Final Four