'Rough and tumble' Tennessee basketball steamrolls Duke, rumbles into Sweet 16: Reaction

Tennessee basketball is headed to New York City.

The Vols steamrolled over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday in a 65-52 win in Orlando, Florida, to advance to the Sweet 16. Either Florida Atlantic or Fairleigh Dickinson will be the opponent.

Tennessee was not afraid to play physical against a Duke team with a junior and four freshman in the lineup. In the first six minutes, Duke freshman star Kyle Filipowski had a cut under his left eye and Blue Devils freshman guard Tyrese Proctor absorbed a hit to the face on a rip-through by Santiago Vescovi. Junior Jeremy Roach, the lone veteran in Duke's starting lineup, struggled with foul trouble in the second half.

Olivier Nkamhoua had the game of his life, scoring 27 points, tying a career high set in January against Texas. He was 10-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3.


Given the quality of the game and the team that lost, there was plenty of reaction nationally to the Vols' win Saturday.

First, the Vols locker room looked like a place to be after the win.

Most media had a similar thought: Tennessee played a physical game, and the younger Blue Devils struggled to adapt to it. Duke scored 21 points in the first half as it tried to figure out what it could do against the Vols' athletic and lengthy defense.

The Blue Devils shot better in the second half but still struggled to knock down shots. A physical game can wear down a jump-shooting team, after all. On the other side, Tennessee hit nine of 21 3-pointers.

ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes, who called SEC games all season, had an interesting take on Saturday's Vols win.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee basketball steamrolls Duke, rumbles into Sweet 16 in NYC