Fri 21/03/2014 - 15:17 EDT

Duke Ready for Title Run as They Open Tourney with Mercer

Blue Devils aiming for success with Parker and Hood

In what could be the only season that Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood spend with Duke, the Blue Devils hope it ends with the national championship and a new banner for Cameron Indoor Stadium. The team has endured some clunkers this reason, all at the wrong times, and they cannot afford another one this time of year. A win in their opening game would boost their confidence and put them in the right direction.

Bears looking for biggest win in program history

Mercer returns to the NCAA tourney for the first time since 1985 after winning the Atlantic Sun Conference title. They got here by beating last year’s Cinderella story, Florida Gulf Coast, in the Atlantic Sun championship game. The Bears have won four straight games and can secure the program’s biggest win in its history by knocking off Duke in this second-round game. Mercer was the only team this season to start five seniors in all of its games played.

If there is a major upset on Friday, it could come out of the game featuring Duke and Mercer, but we just do not see it happening. The oddsmakers at do not see it either. Duke is favored by 13.5 points on Friday afternoon, which is why we will lay the line with 20 percent of our bankroll in favor of the Blue Devils.

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