The Duke Blue Devils are 3-6 ATS in their last nine opening NCAA Tournament games including an outright loss to Lehigh as a 2-seed in 2012.
No. 3-seed Duke will try to buck the slow start trend as a 12.5-point favorite against 14-seed Mercer on Friday. Later in the afternoon, the 11-seed Tennessee Volunteers face the 6-seed Massachusetts Minutemen with Tennessee going off as a 4-point favorite.
It's a rare case where an 11 seed is favored over a 6.
After going 8-1 SU and ATS over their previous nine games, Duke faded a bit down the stretch going 5-3 SU and 1-6-1 ATS over its last eight games.
Duke vs. Mercer kicks off Friday's NCAA Tournament betting card at 12:15pm ET at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tennessee vs. Massachusetts follows at 2:45 pm.
The Blue Devils finished the year at 26-8 SU and 18-15-1 ATS to earn an at-large bid into the tournament. Freshman star Jabari Parker led the team with 19.3 PPG and 8.8 rebounds per game.
The Mercer Bears went 21-4 SU over their last 25 games, finishing the year on a 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS run to win the Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship. Mercer is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1985 and is 0-2 SU in two appearances all-time.
Tennessee made good use of its at-large bid into a play-in game against Iowa, crushing the Hawkeyes 78-65 as a 2-point underdog. The Volunteers are 5-1 SU and ATS over their last six games with the only loss in that stretch coming against Florida.
The total has gone UNDER in each of Tennessee's last six games.
Massachusetts went 24-8 SU and 15-16-1 ATS on the season to pick up an at-large bid into the tournament. The Minutemen enter the postseason on a cold streak with a 3-3 SU and 0-6 ATS record over their last six games.
Chaz Williams leads UMass in scoring with 15.8 PPG and assists with seven per game.
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