What They're Saying: Duke v. Utah

Recapping what the various media outlets are saying as Duke prepares for the Utes in Houston.

There’s plenty of attention surrounding the Blue Devils’ upcoming Sweet 16 game against the Utah Utes. Here are some national media clips surrounding Friday’s game.

This Sweet 16 matchup pits one of the best offensive teams in the country up against one of the best defensive teams. Averaging 80.6 points per game, Duke scores the fourth-most points per game in the country, and plays a high-tempo style that consistently overwhelms the opposition.

Utah allows just 56.9 points per game and uses tenacious on-ball defense to frustrate their opponents. Whichever team is able to control the tempo and play more of their own style of basketball will have a big advantage and likely advance to the Elite 8.

- Seth Lassen, Rant Sports

Duke’s size and skill inside will be tested by Utah early, but Okafor will be too much for Utah to handle. The Blue Devil guards break down the Utes off the dribble offensively to get to the rim, and Duke’s defense will shut down Utah in the second half.

- Ken Bikoff, Campus Insiders

“I think our kids have really latched on to that concept. Now we look around and it’s like ‘Pinch me,’ here we are. It’s been a fun run with a lot of these guys that have been a part of it.”

- Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak

“It’s not the last game. We are happy that we made it to the Sweet 16 but we didn’t win a championship yet. We just have to keep playing how we are playing and stay focused.”

- Utah SF Dakarai Tucker

“Duke has been heralded by Benjamin Hochman as the only team in the tournament capable of taking down Kentucky. That might be true, but the Blue Devils have a significant task at hand in the Sweet 16. Larry Krystkowiak reminds me of Scooter from "Hoosiers" with his wild eyes and one-size-too-big shirts, but the man can coach. Add a bona fide star in Delon Wright, and the Utes could give Duke a close one.”

- Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post

“Utah is a dangerous bunch under head coach Larry Krystkowiak. They’re led by All-PAC-12 senior guard Delon Wright (14.7 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.9 rpg), and they play some serious lockdown defense. The match-up between Utah’s freshman seven-footer Jakob Poeltl and Duke’s All-American big man Jahlil Okafor will be an intriguing one, and the Utes’ overall length and size could prove frustrating for the Blue Devils.”

- Matt Hladik, College Spun

“Put the next three teams in any order you want. Duke’s spotty defense – 44th in efficiency, according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings – is why they’re behind Gonzaga and Arizona. Their potential matchup with Gonzaga is already worth salivating over. Given the strength of both offenses and the shakiness of both defenses, it could easily get into the 90s.”

- Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

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