Olivier Nkamhoua drops 27, Tennessee breezes past Duke to advance to Sweet 16
Olivier Nkamhoua was unconscious in the second half of Tennessee’s win over Duke Saturday evening. The senior forward dropped 27 points on 10/13 shooting, leading Tennessee over the Blue Devils with good ole’ fashioned bully ball, 65-52.
Duke was in the torture chamber from the jump. The Blue Devils shot poorly from deep, committed 15 turnovers and couldn’t stop Tennessee’s offense in the 2nd half. Duke also got into foul trouble early and struggled to recover.
An underrated part of Tennessee’s win was Santiago Vescovi, another Tennessee senior who did not want to go home early. Vescovi dropped 14 points and was an off-the-ball magician, running all over the court to get open looks at the basket. He hit 4 triples and totaled 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Tennessee advances to the Sweet Sixteen for just the 2nd time under Rick Barnes with Saturday’s monumental win. The Vols will face one of FAU or FDU next week.
SWEET 16 VOLS pic.twitter.com/21SqkU92ln
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 18, 2023
Not done yet?
These Vols are the exact opposite of last year’s Vols in terms of momentum heading into the Big Dance. Last year’s Tennessee won the SEC Tournament and blitzed Longwood in the first round before falling to Michigan in the Round of 32. This time around, Tennessee faltered entering the tournament, losing 2 of their last 3.
The Vols also lost star PG Zakai Zeigler for the season against Arkansas. The Vols had to adapt and adapt quickly to pull off the win Saturday. And if Tennessee keeps playing like this, there’s no denying them from their first Final Four berth. But, as always, it’s easier said than done.
Let’s see how they fare next week in the Sweet Sixteen.
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WOW!… I live in the middle of ACC country… I can’t wait to go to work Monday….
uh heh heh heh huh. yes sir! my barbershop is full of duke fans…..going to be fun….
So, are ya’ getting 2 hair cuts this weeK?
Sounds like it. Unless he waits to say something until the end.
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TN beating Puke is my fav moment so far in this tournament. Congrats Rocky Top!!!!!!
Mine too. Let’s see if we can’t keep the SEC day strong with AU and AR tonight! GEt mad Auburn! lol
Bully ball works! Congrats to Duke giving it their all. I think TN’s advantage other than size and what looked like pure anger, was the fact they’ve played and beaten some elite teams this season. This looked like a pickup game in the park and the bigger team just knocked around and bullied the smaller team.
I’m glad they did, but why did Duke stay in the zone for as long as they did in the second half? The Vols picked em apart.
Ut plays defensive that and gets shooting like Namkuhoa and Vescotti. They’ll be a tuff out the rest of the tournament.
With Purdue going down Friday night, a prime chance to make an elite 8 for TN. I think Farleigh played with a lot of heart against Purdue but got a feeling its going to be FAU vs TN in the Sweet 16. Just got to bring the same attitude next week.
Bully ball is right.
As a player, I love physical games. As a ref? I would love it if every possession was a 3ball.
Call them the Sugar Vols, ’cause they are SWEEEEEEEET!
Congrats Vols! Love seeing the Dukies crumble under hard nosed defense. They had no answer for TN’s pressure and couldn’t finesse their way to score points. Was so sick of hearing about Duke in this tournament. That should shut them up for the next 8 months.
If Olivier could give us half that game he had, every game it would have made a huge difference in a number of games this season. Now we need for him not to disappear next week. Phillips had a much better game too. He was a liability he lousiana. A great win and happy for Barnes especially.
Congrats Tennessee!! The players looked very comfortable out there as the moment definitely wasn’t too much for them. Good sign going forward.
Vols, way to put the beat down on the Duke Girlie Boys.
I don’t believe even retired Coach PoopChuteski could’ve whined and had them flop their way to victory today!
Let’s go baby! Great win vols!
Good job TN. That loss couldn’t happen to a better bunch of whiny punks. Dookie is almost as bad as Louisville.
That was beatdown! Great Job Tennessee
Thank you Wildcats, good luck!
Love it, good job Vols!