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Tennessee holds off Louisiana-Lafayette to maneuver on in NCAA Tournament

Tyreke Key scored 12 factors, Jahmai Mashack added 11 and No. 4 seed Tennessee survived a late scare to carry off Louisiana-Lafayette 58-55 within the opening spherical of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night time.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (26-8) whittled an 18-point deficit to a few within the last minute — creating some tense moments and a pair technical fouls — however the Volunteers (24-10) closed it out by forcing powerful photographs and making simply sufficient free throws.

Tennessee, which misplaced six of 10 heading into the match, superior to face fifth-seeded Duke within the East Region’s second spherical on the Amway Center. 

Santiago Vescovi #25 of the Tennessee Volunteers handles the ball against Jalen Dalcourt #5 of the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.

Santiago Vescovi #25 of the Tennessee Volunteers handles the ball in opposition to Jalen Dalcourt #5 of the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns through the second half within the first spherical of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Blue Devils routed No. 12 seed Oral Roberts 74-51 earlier Thursday, giving Duke coach Jon Scheyer a win in his match debut.

It would be the first assembly between Tennessee and Duke within the NCAA Tournament.

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The Vols ought to hope to take a lot better care of the ball than they did in opposition to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament champions. 

Jalen Dalcourt #5 of the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns attempts a lay up against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.

Jalen Dalcourt #5 of the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns makes an attempt a lay up in opposition to the Tennessee Volunteers through the second half within the first spherical of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

They completed with 18 turnovers within the fourth recreation with out start line guard Zakai Zeigler, who tore a ligament in his left knee within the workforce’s regular-season finale. Zeigler led the Southeastern Conference with 6.5 assists a recreation.

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Uros Plavsic added 9 factors, and Oliver Nkamhoua chipped in eight for Tennessee.

Jahmai Mashack #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers reacts during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. 

Jahmai Mashack #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers reacts through the second half within the first spherical of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in opposition to the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Jordan Brown led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 16 factors.

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