March Madness OddsThe top seed from the West region will look to continue its run to repeat as defending national champions when the Duke Blue Devils clash with the Arizona Wildcats in the Sweet 16 this Thursday. The Blue Devils narrowly escaped a scare from the Michigan Wolverines in a 73-71 third round win, and it won't get any easier for the March Madness betting favorites when they take on this year's PAC-10 champions.

Arizona Wildcats vs. Duke Blue Devils

Thursday March 23, 2011 – 9:45 PM ET


Honda Center, Anaheim, California


Online Sports Betting Odds: Duke Blue Devils – 8.5

The Blue Devils got a boost from the return of Kyrie Irving to the lineup, but coach K will tread carefully as he looks to work one of his best players back into his game plan without disrupting the chemistry they put together en route to an ACC title this year.

March Madness Betting Preview: Arizona

While Irving's return had attracted the bulk of the sports betting bonus attention, the Wildcats will be keyed in on reigning ACC MVP Nolan Smith, who has averaged 21.3 points per game and 5.2 assists this season. Smith scored a game-high 24 points in the win over Michigan, and if Arizona can slow him down it could leave the Blue Devils vulnerable. The Wildcats have their own superstar in Derrick Williams, who has emerged as one of the top player's in this year's tournament. Williams had the game-saving block in Arizona's win over Memphis in the second round, and then followed that up with a massive three-ball in the upset of the Texas Longhorns.

March Madness Betting Preview: Duke

Irving scored just 11 points against the Wolverines, but there is no doubt that coach K is confident in his ability to deliver with the game on the line. Kyle Singler has emerged as the perfect compliment next to Smith, including the 13 points and eight rebounds he registered against Michigan. If Irving can find his form without hurting the chemistry between Smith and Singler, than Duke will easily make it through to the Elite Eight. The Blue Devils shot over 50-percent as a team in their most recent win, and never trailed in the second half. Duke has enough talent to outscore Williams and the Wildcats' offense, and coach K knows his team's focus has to be on offense.

March Madness Betting: Outlook & Pick

While the Blue Devils cannot afford to let Williams run wild, their pay per head focus will have to be on scoring. Duke has one of the best triple threats in the tournament with Smith, Singler, and Irving, but they will need to find a way to perform together in order to get the job done. Arizona has been fortunate to survive through their first two games, but that run will come to an end against the defending national champions.

March Madness Betting Pick: Duke Blue Devils – 8.5

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