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Duke Vs. Arizona, Sweet 16 Basketball: Blue Devils Expected To Roll, For Some Reason

The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils are favored to beat the No. 5 Arizona Wildcats by a wider margin than any other game in the 2011 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 round, save Kansas vs. Richmond. After Duke needed everything it could muster to beat No. 8 Michigan over the weekend, what makes us so sure they'll breeze past Zona?

Granted, the Wildcats had some assistance in downing Texas. But they're a slightly better scoring team than Michigan was -- among the beat in the nation, in fact. If Duke's perimeter offense can't get going, as it sometimes fails to, the Wildcats could jump out to a surprising lead in a hurry.

However, with Kyrie Irving back in albeit-limited business, don't expect Duke to be held to just one mode of putting up points. He's been great all year at generating (and hitting) free throws, and not just because he plays for Duke.

Duke Basketball Report, SB Nation's Duke blog, likes the feistiness Arizona players are showing the matchup, while Arizona Desert Swarm looks forward to the 2001 National Championship game rematch.

For more on this game, Duke fans should read Duke Basketball Report as they already were anyway, and Wildcats fans should join Arizona Desert Swarm and SB Nation Arizona. For more March Madness, visit SB Nation's NCAA Basketball hub

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.