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Score Prediction For BYU’s NCAA Matchup Against Duquesne

Mar 19, 2024, 10:45 PM | Updated: 10:53 pm

OMAHA, Neb. – BYU basketball will take on the Duquesne Dukes in an East Region matchup in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars come into the matchup as a favorite by nearly all predictive metrics.

Duquesne is riding high after winning the A-10 Tournament Championship last week. The Dukes hold the nation’s fifth-longest winning streak at five games

“It’s a great team. They’re the A-10 Tourney Champs. That’s no easy feat,” said BYU coach Mark Pope on Duquesne. “I think they’ve won eight or nine games in a row. … So they’re playing elite level basketball.

BYU is 23-10 overall entering the NCAA Tournament. Mark Pope’s squad finished fifth in the Big 12 Conference and is playing in their first NCAA Tournament since 2021.

Duquesne is playing in its first NCAA Tournament since 1977, when Norm Nixon was a guard for the Dukes and the A-10 was known as the Eastern 8.

(6) BYU vs. (11) Duquesne

2024 NCAA Tournament – First Round

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Arena: CHI Health Center

Tip-Off: 10:40 a.m. (MT)/11:40 a.m. (CT)

TV: truTV

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM in Utah)

Score Prediction

This matchup features one of the nation’s best offenses (BYU) against a Top-30 defense (Duquesne). Who comes out on top?

No one is mistaking the offenses in the A-10 for the get-out in transition, high-volume threes that BYU shows in its offense.

But the Dukes are confident in their defensive abilities. They held VCU to 28% from two and 32% from three in the A-10 Championship Game, which punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Duquesne probably needs to hold BYU to similar percentages to slow down their offense.

BYU enters the matchup after falling to Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals. The previous four times BYU has lost a game this season, they won their next game.

Duquesne will be without starting Tre Williams, who continues to deal with a shoulder injury. In his place is projected to be Dusan Mahorcic. Mahorcic is a player that BYU is familiar with; the Cougars recruited him two years ago when he transferred from Illinois State.

He had BYU in his final four schools before ultimately picking the University of Utah.

BYU’s front court is also injured, with starting center Aly Khalifa dealing with an ankle injury he suffered against Texas Tech. Head coach Mark Pope expects Khalifa to play, but the question remains: How healthy is Khalifa coming into the matchup?

Still, this matchup favors BYU. The Cougars’ defense was a Top 25 team for most of the season. Look for BYU to keep Duquesne’s subpar offense in check as they earn their first Round of 64 victory since 2011.

Prediction: BYU 77, Duquesne 68

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Score Prediction For BYU’s NCAA Matchup Against Duquesne