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Added March 18th, 2011 by Ryan

March Madness: Duke (1) vs. Hampton (16) in NCAA Tournament matchup

Duke Blue Devils (1) vs. Hampton Pirates (16) Fri. March 18, 2011 3:10 p.m. EST

One of the toughest things to do in professional or collegiate sports is to repeat as a champion. Even though repeating isn’t impossible, it can be highly unlikely, especially in NCAA basketball. This season Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils (1) came into the year as the reigning NCAA champions after beating the Butler Bulldogs (8) in the National Championship.

Even though the Blue Devils weren’t thought to do much in the NCAA Tournament last year, they defied the odds and were able to come out on top. This time around the Blue Devils have clinched the number one seed in the West Region and seem to have a legitimate shot at repeating as NCAA champs, but they will definitely have their work cut out for them in their region as they will have to contend with the likes of the San Diego State Aztecs (2), UConn Huskies (3) and Texas Longhorns (4) in order to make it to the Final Four.

If any team can defy the odds and repeat as NCAA champs it is the Duke Blue Devils (1) as they are led by arguably the best head coach in college basketball with Coach K calling the shots from the sidelines. They may not have one of the most talented teams in the tournament, but they are definitely motivated to go deep in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

In their first matchup of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the Duke Blue Devils (1) will face off against the Hampton Pirates (16). No surprise here, but the Blue Devils are heavily favored to come out on top in this game with a -23 point spread.

Even though this spread is huge, I believe Coach K’s squad might be able to pull it off, but the best decision here would be to take the Pirates at +23. Online sportsbooks love Duke, and some of the best odds are at Bodog.

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