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Final Notes On Duke-Texas Tech In The 2022 Sweet Sixteen

Let’s get it onnnnnnnn!

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Greenville
 GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 20: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates hitting a three point shot against Michigan State Spartans during the first half in the second round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 20, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina.
Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

We’ve already done our preview for Thursday’s Sweet Sixteen match between Duke and Texas Tech, so this morning we’re just going to hit a few key points.

First is this: AJ Griffin will play. That’s potentially great news for Duke since three point shooting could be a key to beating Texas Tech.

Busting Brackets lists three keys for a Texas Tech win:

  • Defense
  • Shut down Jeremy Roach
  • Get Kevin Obanar going

We’ll see what Duke opts to do to stop the Red Raiders but Griffin will help. The No-Middle defense tries to shut down the inside and force teams to shoot outside. If Duke is hitting threes, that makes life more difficult for Tech.

It could also open the inside up for Mark Williams and Paolo Banchero.

It’s going to be a fascinating matchup between a coaching icon on the way out and another, who Coach said rode buses while other coaches took planes: “When you do that for as long and as successful as he’s been, you do it — like, we make a lot of money, but when you’re at the bus stops you don’t make a lot of money — you better love what you do. It’s obvious that’s what he’s done, and he’s taken it to a really high level.”

It’s a great side bar to the story. For all the talk about Tech’s imposing defense, our guess is that Duke takes that as a challenge and will try to answer with a stiff defense of their own.

All the talk is over now. It’s time to see what these teams can do on the court. Game time is about 9:39 on CBS.