The NCAA Tournament Elite Eight matchup between Duke and Arkansas showcased some of the best college basketball talent in the nation, with a top four seed meeting up at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game was billed as a clash of heavyweights, and it’s certainly living up to the hype. From the first few minutes of play, it was clear we were in store for an exciting matchup as both teams battled for a chance to move on to the Final Four.

We’re bringing you some live observations from this historic game-time showdown between two teams who both have the potential to make deep tournament runs this March. From big-time defensive plays to electric offensive performances, here’s an inside look at what’s happening on the court as Duke and Arkansas battle it out for a spot in the Final Four.

Pre-Game Analysis

This Sunday, two of the nation’s top collegiate basketball teams, Duke and Arkansas, will face off in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. This game is sure to be a thrilling affair and the anticipation is building with fans waiting to see who will advance to the Final Four.

Before the game tips off, let’s take a look at some of the key factors that could decide the outcome of this matchup.

Duke’s Starting Lineup

The No. 2 seeded Duke Blue Devils will look to advance to their third consecutive Final Four appearance as they face off against the No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks in the Elite Eight today. Before the action begins, let’s take a look at Duke’s starting lineup:

Jeremy Roach – Roach is Duke’s point guard and team leader from the backcourt. He is averaging 13 points and five assists per game while shooting 39 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc this season. He is the key player that will be relied upon to push the tempo of play for Duke and maximize offensive opportunities.

Matthew Hurt – The forward is a reliable threat that can now shoot 3-pointers more consistently than he did a year ago as his percentage has increased dramatically (41% this season compared to 28% last season). Hurt leads Duke with an average of 13.9 points while also averaging 5.7 rebounds per game this season, making him a crucial piece in attack mode for Duke in order for them to have a better likelihood of success on offense.

Jalen Johnson – As freshman power forward, Johnson has quickly established himself as one of coach Mike Krzyzewski’s go-to guys off the bench for his defensive presence and willingness to provide hustle plays off rebounding or creating second-chance possession opportunities by running back open move or loose ball situations but most notably by contributing 12 points per game through his inside play partly because of his ability to finish around rim and patterned pinpoints accuracy 3-point shooting success rate (45% from beyond arc).

Jaemyn Brakefield – A crafty two-way wingspand with aptitude on both ends makes Brakefield another X factor threat who averages 10 points per game along with 5 rebounds while being 7 feet tall provides versatility patrolling uniquely advantageous efficient interior defense espoused demeanor trying effortlessly disrupt penetration gaps opposing offenses commonly approach when looking capitalizing advantages size advantage possess bunch frontcourt type matchup poses during intersection contest situation comes help shift momentum favor due basketball IQ innate knack understanding plays situations needs occur brings lot table success avoid losing factor final four equation presents itself stage night tonight be must watch one much highly anticipated show Elite Eights contests delivers.

Arkansas’ Starting Lineup

The Arkansas Razorbacks will be starting with Mason Jones, Desi Sills, Jalen Tate, Jimmy Whitt Jr., and Reggie Chaney in their defensive lineup in the Elite Eight match against Duke. Mason Jones leads the team with averaging 22.0 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 3.1 steals per game throughout the NCAA tournament. Desi Sills is also coming off a high performance against Oral Roberts in the Sweet Sixteen as he put up 21 points and grabbed four boards for the team. Jalen Tate and Jimmy Whitt Jr have been strong presences on the court during their gameplay; both are averaging over 10 points per game throughout this tournament season. Lastly, Reggie Chaney has been an essential component to Arkansas’ defense all year long as he averages 6.3 rebounds and 1 block per game across their last three games of competition.

Although Duke’s starting lineup poses a big challenge for Arkansas’ defense, Arkansas is confident that today will be their day as they continue to fight to make it all the way to the Final Four round!

Matchup Breakdown

Duke and Arkansas are set to face off in the Elite Eight match of the NCAA Tournament. As two of the top teams in their respective conferences, both teams come into this game with the expectation to reach for higher heights. From the Razorbacks’ stat-stuffing frontcourt to Duke’s lockdown defense, this matchup has all the ingredients of an exciting showdown.

In order to gain a better idea of how this match may shake out, let’s take a closer look at how both teams have performed during their tournament run so far as well as breakdown some key aspects of their matchup.

Duke: The Blue Devils have displayed what is arguably one of their strongest performances in recent memory while they have been on their way to the Elite Eight. They have ran off a nine-game winning streak, highlighted by tremendous offensive balance and defense that has clamped down on opponents like Loyola Chicago, Virginia Tech and UCLA. Led by Jaemyn Brakefield’s superior ability to space out opposing defenses and be a shot creator for his teammates, Duke has been able to create great offensive flow on multiple occasions throughout this tournament run.

Arkansas: As two-time SEC Champions and now advancing all the way to Elite Eight for the second time in school history; fans could not ask for much more from Arkansas regarding their NCAA Tournament run thus far. The Razorbacks are led by Moses Moody who game after game reminded us why he not only was selected first team All SEC but also why he earned National Freshman of The Year honors; averaging 17 points per game while shooting at an absurd clip of 61 percent from beyond arc thus far….

First Half Observations

With Duke and Arkansas primed to face off in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, the game is expected to be a thrilling one. The first half of this matchup could hold huge implications as both teams look to move onto the Final Four.

Here are some of the observations from the first half of the Duke vs Arkansas game.

Duke vs arkansas live observations from ncaa tournament elite …

Duke’s offense took a while to get going in the first half, as their shooting percentage was below 40 percent minutes into the game. They had trouble getting good looks early on and seemed to be settling for outside jump shots rather than attacking the rim. Their offense was plagued by turnovers, as they committed nine—including two in a row late in the half—which allowed Arkansas to jump out to an 11-point lead.

The Blue Devils eventually began to find some rhythm as they started hitting three-pointers and found success in transition, but their turnovers and defensive lapses continued to hinder their progress down the stretch of the half. Still, Duke managed to cut Arkansas’ lead down to five at halftime. Going forward it will be interesting to see if Mike Krzyzewski is able to make adjustments so that his team can find more success on offense in order remain competitive in this game against an Arkansas team that is hot from beyond the arc.

Arkansas’ Offense

The Arkansas offense has looked sharp to start the game, getting to their various sets with great poise and efficiency. Led by graduate guard Madison Waldrop, the Razorbacks are pushing the pace and attacking Duke off the dribble. The Blue Devils’ defense is still settling in, and that combined with a handful of defensive lapses has led to some open looks for Arkansas; they have made Duke pay by converting four of their first seven three-point attempts.

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The Razorback’s starting backcourt has clicked well so far, making smart decisions against Duke’s pressure defense and converting when given the opportunity. Arkansas’ head coach Mike Neighbors has harped on his team about getting high percentage shots all year long, and it appears as if his message is being heeded early in this game. Additionally, center Erynn Barnum is providing great post defense up front. She blocked two shots in short order at one point early in the game and continues to contest most every shot that comes her way.


Rebounding has been a deciding factor in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight matchup between Duke and Arkansas. It was clear from the beginning of the game that both teams would need to secure possessions for a chance at victory.

Through the first half, Arkansas was winning the rebounding battle, grabbing nine offensive boards and 21 defensive boards, resulting in a total of 30 boards. Duke had 25 total rebounds at the half, with 11 offensive rebounds and 14 defensive rebounds.

Arkansas also out-maneuvered Duke in second-chance points, using their rebounding prowess to score 15 points off 6 offensive putbacks on their 27 opportunities while Duke only scored 8 points on 4 offensive putbacks on 18 opportunities.

This second-chance scoring allowed Arkansas to stay in the game despite a tough first period where Duke played better basketball elsewhere and held a five-point lead heading into halftime. If they can continue to outrebound Duke and convert these into second-chance baskets throughout the game, then it could further extend their chances of advancing to the Final Four.


In a closely-contested first half between Duke and Arkansas, turnovers have been the deciding factor. The Blue Devils have been unable to overcome their miscues and as a result, trailed 41-31 at the break.

Duke committed nine turnovers in the first period, which Arkansas was able to effectively convert into points. The Razorbacks took advantage of these miscues by capitalizing on poor decision making and poor passes by Duke’s guards. What was once a one-point game in favor of Arkansas quickly became an eight-point deficit for the Blue Devils in just two possessions.

The ability for Duke to limit its turnovers will be vital for them if they attempt to make a comeback and advance to the Final Four. Their guards must show more resiliency when it comes to guarding the ball, as both sides remain close statistically in all other areas.

Second Half Observations

Halfway through the Duke Vs Arkansas match in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, the game is still in the balance. While the first half was marked by back and forth play, the second half has been filled with thrilling plays and clutch shots.

In this article, we will discuss the second half observations of the Duke vs Arkansas match.

Duke’s Offense

Duke’s offense continues to be led by freshman forward Matthew Hurt and graduate transfer guard Jordan Goldwire. Hurt started the game off with a 3 pointer and was aggressive driving to the rim. Goldwire came up big with a step-back 3 in transition during Duke’s second half run. The duo combined for 21 of Duke’s 27 points in the first half and they looked ready to carry their team into the Final Four.

The rest of Duke’s lineup was unable to contribute as much offensively with Tre Jones and Wendell Moore Jr. not having much success getting shots off against Arkansas’swarming defense. Jones only had one field goal in the first half, while Moore struggled from beyond the arc, going 0-4 from deep before halftime.

Meanwhile, Arkansas had no trouble moving the ball around on offense, led by Justin Smith and Maddox Daniels who each scored 11 points in the first half on 5-9 shooting from the floor. Daniels was especially effective inside where he was able to get layups off drives or putbacks from offensive rebounds all night long. Overall, Arkansas outscored Duke 28-27 in the first 20 minutes of play despite missing three key players due to injury or COVID protocols.

Arkansas’ Offense

Throughout the second half, Arkansas worked hard to come back but ultimately Duke was able to pull away and advance to the Final Four. Although they weren’t successful in taking down the Blue Devils, it was clear that Arkansas had a solid offensive game plan. The Razorbacks attacked the paint early and often, looking for their big men Jimmy Whitt Jr., Adrio Bailey, Daniel Gafford and Reggie Chaney to make plays.

Arkansas’ offense started with an inside-out approach, trying to establish an inside presence first before launching up some three-pointers. This strategy paid dividends through the first 35 minutes of action as they were able to keep Duke at bay with a number of on-the-nose passes and efficient shot selection from around the arc.

As regulation came closer to an end however, fatigue began to set in as Duke pulled away late in the game winning by a final score of 68-69. This loss caps off a tremendous season for Arkansas in what was a coming out party for many of its key players such as Bailey, Chaney and Gafford who should all have bright futures ahead of them despite today’s result.


The Arkansas Razorbacks had a distinct advantage on the boards in the first half of Sunday’s Elite Eight match-up with the Duke Blue Devils. The Razorbacks outrebounded Duke 17-11 on their way to an 18-15 half time lead.

Arkansas was able to crash the glass and get second chance opportunities, which allowed them to establish an early lead and take control of the tempo at this point in the game. Arkansas appeared to be more aggressive along the margins, getting good position for putbacks off missed field goal attempts from their teammates.

The Blue Devils have seemed content to settle for jump shots and are not pushing hard for offensive rebounds, allowing Arkansas a disproportionate amount of second chance shots that have been critical in building an early scoring cushion. Mason Jones was particularly active on rebounding opportunities, grabbing several big boards that resulted in quick transition out breaks as he rapidly moved up court with no resistance or ball pressure from Duke defenders.


Turnovers proved to be a major factor in deciding the result of the game. In the first half, Duke had 11 turnovers while Arkansas had just 5. In comparison, Arkansas only had 5 turnovers in the second half while Duke racked up 12- leading to a total of 23 turnovers for the game. This resulted in a total of 25 points off turnovers by Arkansas, which was a huge factor in their win.

Another key factor was the lack of offense production by Duke compared to their opponents Arkansas. The Blue Devils shot just 37% from the field and 28% from beyond the arch on their way to scoring just 63 points in 40 minutes of play. On the other hand, Arkansas scored an impressive 78 points thanks to 50% shooting from both inside and outside of the 3-point line.

Post-Game Analysis

After an exciting and hard-fought game, Duke ultimately bested Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Both teams put up a good fight and showed why they deserved to be in the elite eight.

Now that the game is over, let’s take a closer look at how the game panned out and what the key post-game observations are.

Duke’s Performance

The Duke Blue Devils put on an impressive display in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, dominating their opponents, the Arkansas Razorbacks. Led by senior forward Matthew Hurt and junior guards Jordan Goldwire and Jeremy Roach, Duke put together a strong offensive performance with a balanced attack that saw four players score in double figures. The Blue Devils used a tenacious full court defense to cause turnovers and get out in transition, resulting in 29 fastbreak points. Despite surrendering 17 made three-pointers to the Razorbacks, Duke held on for an 86-78 victory and advance to their third consecutive Final Four.

As impressive as the offensive attack was for Duke, their defensive effort is what was most striking about their performance. The Blue Devils were able to frustrate Arkansas’s offense all night long and outrebounded them 45-28 en route to victory. The points off of turnovers that they tallied were an outstanding mark of 24, as well as committing only 11 personal fouls for the game.

By limiting Arkansas’s second chance opportunities and defensive rebounds, Duke’s defense held up even when allowing open shots behind the arc (Arkansas shot 17/31 3PT). Coach Mike Krzyzewski has always been known for his excellent defenses, especially when he has multiple experienced players at his disposal like he does this season with Hurt and Goldwire among others; this game was no exception as they clamped down late to secure the win against a very formidable opponent.

Arkansas’ Performance

Arkansas faced a considerable challenge going against a talented Duke team fresh off an impressive victory over Michigan State in the Sweet 16. Despite an impressive effort, Arkansas was left wanting in the end of their Elite Eight matchup against the Blue Devils.

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From the tip-off, Duke had a decisive advantage in possession time, dominating the glass and entering their half-court set with ease. Arkansas’ energy level dropped throughout the game, playing at a slower pace as Duke continued to press and suffocate their offense with key stops on defense. As a result, Arkansas was never able to find consistent flow offensively; often stalling out prior to entering critical late-game possessions.

Despite being significantly undersized against Duke’s vaunted frontcourt prowess, the Razorbacks played well enough on defense throughout most of regulation to keep themselves within striking distance. However, fatigue from defending at such a high intensity level seemed to be their downfall as Arkansas couldn’t muster enough energy for necessary offensive possessions late in closing minutes when they needed it most.

Ultimately, Duke pulled away down stretch while Arkansas was unable to deliver key spurts or runs to complete comeback efforts; finishing with identical totals of 52-38 rebounds and 7-7 turnovers apiece but being outperformed by Duke via perimeter efficiency (61% vs 37%) over archives is ultimately what settled this Elite Eight match for good.

Final Score and Takeaways

The final score of the Duke Vs Arkansas game in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight round was 75-65, with Duke taking the victory and advancing to the Final Four. The Blue Devils were able to pull away in the late stages of the game by capitalizing on timely steals, offensive rebounds and accurate foul shooting. Several players stood out and played a key role in helping their team win, and here are some of their key contributions:

1. Matthew Hurt led Duke with 22 points and 7 rebounds on 8-for-16 shooting from the field, displaying excellent shooting percentages from both inside and outside the three-point line. Hurt displayed excellent court awareness throughout the entire game, consistently finding open teammates for scoring opportunities or initiating offense when needed. His accurate free throw shooting also helped seal Duke’s victory late in the game.

2. Arkansas guard Desi Sills put up an impressive 20 points along with 6 rebounds on 7 shots from beyond three-point range, displaying excellent accuracy from long range that provided a much needed spark for his team’s offense when needed. While Arkansas eventually fell short, Sills’ aggressive efforts kept his team competitive throughout most of regulation as he was able to create scoring opportunities for himself despite often being trapped by multiple defenders in double teams or pitches out of isolation sets.

3. Several other players had strong performances as well including Jordan Goldwire’s 12 points 5 assists 3 rebounds performance that steadied Duke’s backcourt while playing strong defense; Mason Jones’ 16 point 10 rebound double double plus 4 assists display that kept Arkansas within striking distance; Justin Moore’s 11 points 4 assists performance which included five clutch shots down the stretch; Jalen Johnson’s block that turned away one potential game tying layup late; etcetera…

Overall it was an exciting display of college basketball for both teams and their fans alike – solidifying Duke’s spot in another Final Four berth come March Madness 2021!

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