March Madness Sweet 16:Duke Blue Devils vs. Arizona WildcatsMarch 23, 2009 by Marc Jerbs

On Thursday, the defending champion Duke Blue Devils will face the Arizona Wildcats for a Sweet 16 matchup at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Game time is set at 9:45ET for this West division bracket showdown.

The Arizona Wildcats barely survived their first two games in the tournament. They beat 12th seed Memphis by two points and 4th seed Texas by a single point. Their next mission is to dethrone the highly rated Duke Blue Devils.

Arizona has a solid group of players that could make life miserable for the Blue Devils. If they bring their resiliency and tenacity they showed in their first two close games, the Wildcats could possibly score an upset win.

The defending champs showed their championship pedigree after their 73-71 win over Michigan. The Blue Devils displayed their experience, hustle and disciplined approach when the game is on the line. The return of star PG Kyrie Irving gave the Blue Devils an additional firepower in their first two wins. Arizona must find a way to contain the Blue Devils' Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving. If any of these players went on a scoring binge, Duke could easily score a rout.

The sportsbook handicappers have installed the Duke Blue Devils as an 8.5-point favorite to beat the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona may have a chance to champs if they could limit the touches of Smith, Singler and Irving the entire game.