Jayhawks' perimeter play could make difference

Greg Peterson  

March 25, 2018 01:38 AM

Kansas ( 3) vs Duke & Under 155.5

Duke has been on a roll since implementing its zone defense, going 10-2 since its loss to North Carolina on Feb. 8, allowing 62 points per game in that span. The Blue Devils have not allowed more than 74 points in a game in this run, but have not seen a team that can shoot 3s like Kansas.

The Jayhawks are 10th in the country in 3-point shooting percentage and have covered 43.3 percent of its 3s in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks have five guys that average at least 12 points per game and have gotten more contributions in recent games from Silvio De Sousa off the bench.

The best way to pick apart a zone defense is by making 3s. Duke's rebounding rate, which is fifth in the country, could become less significant. Kansas is just 170th in that category, meaning second and third chances will be at a premium.

With Kansas being in the bottom half of the country of having shots blocked per game and Duke being in the top 40 in blocked shot percentage on defense, it will force the Jayhawks to work the ball around the perimeter.

Kansas’ defense is a bit better than advertised, ranking in the top 100 in defensive efficiency and both teams being outside the top 100 in pace of play quickness.

Peterson's pick: This is a perfect storm for Kansas to cover a game.

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