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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / September 19.
  • As one-and-dones fall out of NCAA Tournament, Marvin Bagley III looks like an imposing force as Duke rolls on

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    PITTSBURGH — One by one, the one-and-dones have fallen out of this NCAA Tournament.

    By Saturday evening , Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, Oklahoma’s Trae Young, Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr., Texas’ Mohamed Bamba and Alabama’s Collin Sexton had all been excused from the Big Dance after just one game.

    Duke’s Marvin Bagley III is aware of all of that, and knows at this time of year, your season can end at anytime.

    “Just watching and being involved, anything could happen,” Bagley said. “If we go out, we just gotta play hard. We can’t assume anything.”

    Bagley made the comments after going for 22 points and 9 rebounds as No. 2 Duke blew out No. 7 Rhode Island, 87-62, to advance to the Sweet 16, where they will meet Michigan State or Syracuse in Omaha, Neb.

    Rhode Island tried 6-foot-4 Stan Robinson and other defenders on the 6-11 Bagley, but just had no answer for him — or for Duke’s many weapons.

    “The plan was to double-team Bagley, but the problem with him is he moves like a guard,” Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley said.

    More Hurley: “They looked like an NBA team out there with their size and length.”

    And more: “That was the best display of basketball against one of my Rhode Island teams in six years here.”

    Bagley shot 8-of-10 and was virtually unstoppable in the paint.

    “When he does get the ball he’s shooting 8-for-10,” Duke guard Grayson Allen said. “That’s a pretty good percentage to just throw it down there for him.”

    A year ago at this time, Bagley was playing high school ball at Sierra Canyon (CA). He then opted in August to re-class and enroll at Duke.

    Now he’s in his first — and only NCAA Tournament — and has his sights set on a Final Four and another Duke championship.

    “My mind’s focused on taking it one day at a time because tomorrow’s never promised in this tournament,” Bagley said.

    “We don’t want any game to be our last game together unless it’s our last one.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.