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2012 NCAA Tournament - ACC Capsules
NCAA: Duke Dominates Samford, 82-47
The Nutshell

2012 NCAA Nashville Pod Preview
#2 Duke vs. #15 Samford & #7 Vanderbilt vs. #10 MTSU
Published March 16, 2012

By Rob Clough

#15 Samford vs #2 Duke

Sunday, March 18th, 7:30pm, Memorial Gymnasium (ESPN networks)

Last Meeting: First Meeting.

Current Records: Duke 24-5 (15-1 ACC), Samford 20-12 (12-8 Southern Conference)

Current Rankings: Duke #6, Samford is not ranked.

The Roster: Samford has just one player averaging in double digits: guard Paige Anderson, who puts up 12 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 apg and 39% 3FG. Guard Ruth Ketcham averages 9 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg and 34% shooting from three. Post Taylor Reece also averages 9 ppg, 3 rpg and 39% from three. Point guard Jazmine Powers contributes 7 ppg, 3 rpg and 4 apg. Forward Hannah Dawson puts up 7 ppg, 5 rpg and 33% from three. Off the bench, guard Shelby Campbell averages 7.5 ppg, 3 rpg and 40% 3FG. Guard Jazmine Martin puts up 4.5 ppg and 2 rpg, while wing J'Quita Babineaux offers 2 ppg and 2 rpg.

The Skinny: The Bulldogs use an eight player rotation with three senior starters, two juniors, a senior who comes off the bench, a soph and a frosh. They run a three-guard offense most of the time and only regularly use one player who's over 6-3. The team loves to shoot threes, as six of its eight regulars have attempted at least sixty treys on the season. In other words, this is a gunslinging team that lives and dies by the three. They were -7 on the boards for the season and are essentially one and done; if they miss a shot, they rarely get a second chance. They play a deliberate style, averaging 60 ppg, and take care of the ball reasonably well while taking few risks on defense. As a team, the Bulldogs shoot 36% from three, giving them a puncher's chance against nearly any opponent. They are experienced and won the Southern conference tournament for the second straight year after finishing just fourth in the regular season.

The Match-Up: This match-up couldn't be simpler: Duke has to defend the three at every position and be careful of the Bulldogs setting screens to get their shooters open. Powers is the key to their offense, using her quickness to penetrate and pitch to open shooters. Duke can't be caught ball-watching or ball-chasing when she's attacking off the dribble, or she'll find a wide-open shooter every time. This is a game where Duke should stay in man-to-man most of the time, switching to the matchup zone only when Allison Vernerey is in the game and can smother shooters at the top of the zone. On offense, Duke needs to attack the basket at all times and send multiple players to the offensive boards. Haley Peters could potentially have a big game here thanks to her size, and she needs to do all the little things to boost her team. The game will require forty minutes of attention because of Samford's ability to make up points in a hurry. Above all else, Duke has to be careful with the ball, especially since Samford is not likely to pressure them. Unforced errors are something the team really needs to clean up after the loss to NC State, and if that loss made one thing clear is that such gaffes can accumulate and be the difference between victory and defeat.

#7 Vanderbilt vs. #10 Middle Tennessee State, 5:10 PM

#7 Vanderbilt

Record: 22-9, 9-7 SEC

Roster: Soph guard Christina Foggie (18 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 apg, 42% 3FG); soph guard Jasmine Lister (12 ppg, 3 rpg, 5 apg, 34% 3FG), junior forward Tiffany Clarke (11.5 ppg, 7 rpg, 1 bpg), coph center Stephanie Holzer (11 ppg, 7 rpg, 1.5 bpg), frosh guard Kady Schrann (7 ppg, 2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 37% 3FG), junior wing Elan Brown (6 ppg, 5 rpg).

The Skinny: Vandy is a balanced club that can attack opponents inside and out. Holzer gives them a real post option who can score and defend the rim, but she is quite foul-prone (5 DQs this year alone). Clarke is another tough inside player who is foul prone, but she and Clarke make scoring difficult against the Commodores. Foggie is a great scorer from anywhere on the floor, but Lister is the key to the team. She's a scoring point guard who takes risks but keeps the offense balanced. Vandy averages an impressive 72 ppg and actually hung 93 points on Tennessee this year in a rare win against their in-state rivals. Vandy was 17-1 at home this year, losing only to South Carolina in overtime. They beat plenty of good teams as well: the Vols, Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, and Florida. If this team gets into a scoring rhythm and opponents are distracted by the weird dimensions and crowd placement in Memorial Gymnasium, the Commodores could go a long way in the tournament.

#10 Middle Tennessee State

Record: 26-6, 16-0 Sun Belt

Roster: Junior guard Kortni Jones (17 ppg, 3 rpg, 5 apg, 2 spg, 35% 3FG), soph forward Eboni Rowe (16.5 ppg, 10 rpg, 1 bpg, 2 spg), junior forward Icelyn Elie (14 ppg, 8 rpg, 35% 3FG), frosh guard Shanice Cason (7 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg, 2 spg), soph guard Laken Leonard (5 ppg, 3 rpg, 33% 3FG), soph center KeKe Stewart (3.5 ppg, 3 rpg).

The Skinny: This is a small team, as Rowe and Elie are only 6-1. Elie can score inside and out, Rowe is a force inside as she grabs nearly 6 offensive rebounds a game and gets to the foul line close to 7 times a game and Jones can shoot and create for others. Their bench is thin and four of their starters play over 32 minutes a game each. The Blue Raiders are a poor rebounding team, but they get extra possessions by forcing 21 turnovers a game. MTSU's best win was a decisive upset over Kentucky, a victory that spurred them to a perfect mark in the Sun Belt before they lost in overtime of the conference tournament finals. Arkansas Little-Rock wound up stealing that bid from an at-large team (quite possibly UNC or Virginia), because MTSU's resume was good enough to get into the tournament, thanks mostly to that win over the Wildcats and solid RPI wins against UNC-Wilmington and South Dakota State. Playing on Vandy's home court will be a tall task for them, but they will at least be able to bring a lot of their own fans to Nashville.

2012 NCAA Tournament - ACC Capsules
NCAA: Duke Dominates Samford, 82-47
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and ACC Women's Basketball from 2006 to the present day via ACC WBB Digest.

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