The Duke Blue Devils made sure that they would win their first March Madness game post-Coach K era when they scored a convincing 74-51 win over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Thursday night during the first round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. Duke Basketball is on a groove, having also just won the ACC tournament, which came after the Blue Devils won all of their last six assignments in the regular season.
The win against Oral Roberts was the perfect start in the Big Dance for Mark Mitchell and Duke basketball, which will next face the winner of the matchup between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
Mitchell also shared his thoughts with reporters following Duke basketball’s opening-round victory against the Summit League tournament champs.
“I think just coming out ready,” Mitchell said about one of Duke’s keys to the win in the Oral Roberts game, per Brian Hall of WFMY News. “The last couple of games we come out, just hit them in the mouth first. they’re a really good team. We want to just come out here and make the first impression.”
Jeremy Roach led the team versus Oral Roberts with 23 points with three assists and two rebounds, while shooting 9-for-17 from the field, but the real hero for Duke basketball was its suffocating defense that didn’t let the Golden Eagles’ attack see much daylight. Oral Roberts made just 30.2 percent of its shots from the floor and knocked down just eight of the team’s 32 attempts from the 3-point region.