Following his dynamite performance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Duke star Mason Plumlee found himself in a bit of foul trouble in the third round against Creighton. However, Plumlee still managed to make an impact on the game as the Blue Devils advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 66-50 victory.
Plumlee finished with 10 points and five rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting before fouling out with just under three minutes to go. He also tallied two steals and one block, and was part of an outstanding Duke defensive effort that stymied Creighton's offensive attack. The Bluejays shot just 30.2 percent from the field, and while star Doug McDermott had 21 points, he shot only 4-of-16 from the field. Plumlee was not the primary defender on McDermott, but his mere presence was a factor in the rough shooting night.
Plumlee is currently viewed as a borderline lottery pick, as the No. 12 draft prospect according to DraftExpress. His play so far in the tournament has likely solidified that rating, perhaps even improving it. He was dominant in the second round against Albany, putting up 23 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-11 shooting. And while Albany isn't exactly the greatest competition, Plumlee simply did what he had to do against an inferior opponent.
A big challenge awaits Plumlee in the Sweet 16 when he faces the strong front line of Michigan State that features players like Adreian Payne, Derrick Nix and Branden Dawson. Plumlee is rather slight of build, so the Spartans' physicality could pose some problems. It should be quite the battle to watch down low.