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College Basketball Championship Duke vs Wisconsin

In what is becoming a rare treat for college basketball fans, two of the four top seeds in the NCAA Tournament will meet on Monday night, to determine which team will be crowned the 2015 NCAA national champions.

#1 Wisconsin (36-3, 16-2 Big Ten) vs. #1 Duke (35-4, 15-3 ACC) Monday, April 6, 9:18 PM. ET. CBS.

The Blue Devils have been one of the most successful programs in college basketball since Mike Krzyzewski became the head coach, and are a familiar sight in the finals, making their second trip in five years. Krzyzewski will be trying to win his fifth championship, which will put him in second place, behind John Wooden. 

Duke suffered an embarrassing first round loss in the tournament last season, which is one of the reasons that they are so focused this year. The Blue Devils have made easy work of all their opponents in the tournament this year, they have only been involved in only one close game, and have not allowed an opponent to score more than 61 points on them.

During the regular season, Duke was averaging 80 points per game, which was fourth in the country, but defensively, opponents averaged 64.2 points per game. So far in the tournament, their scoring has dipped, and they are averaging 72.6 points per game. Their sacrifice on offense has paid off on defense, because they are holding opponents to 55 points per game.

Bo Ryan is still looking for his first championship as a coach, but he has led the Badgers to the tournament for 14 consecutive seasons, which is very impressive at any school, but even more impressive at a school like Wisconsin, which had only made the tournament six times before his arrival. 

The biggest part of the team’s success the past two years has been AP Player of the Year and Naismith Award winner Frank Kaminsky, who will be trying to end his great college career with a win on its biggest stage. Kaminsky has had a lot of help from Sam Dekker, who has been making some big shots in this tournament, especially from three point range. The junior forward is averaging 20.6 points per game during the tournament, and he is shooting 61 percent from the field, and 50 percent from three point range. Dekker missed the first meeting between the two teams in December, so expect him to make a big impact this time around.

Wisconsin’s offense has been bailing them out during their tournament run, because they haven’t been playing with the same defensive intensity that they played with during the regular season. They will need to put together a very good defensive effort in order to win this game.

Game Odds and Predictions

Wisconsin is favored to win this game, the point spread is -1 in their favor, the over/under on total points scored is 141.

My Pick: This game is likely going to come down to the final possession, but I have to go with Duke to get the “upset” because Coach K has a lot of championship experience, and will have his team well prepared to win this game.