After an exit in the semifinals of the ACC tournament, second-seeded Duke will look to get the ball rolling in the NCAA tournament Thursday against 15th-seeded Iona at 2:45 p.m. The Blue Zone gives three keys for the Blue Devils to move to the next round: 

Find a perimeter shot

Duke has been inconsistent from deep in its last five games, combining to shoot just 29.7 percent from 3-point range. 

While Grayson Allen has seemed to have gotten himself back on track, making nine of his last 16 shots from deep, Gary Trent Jr. is stuck in a ditch. The freshman guard has gone just 8-of-34 from beyond the arc in his last five games, a trend that he will need to buck against the Gaels and going forward. 

But Iona has been particularly weak in defending the arc—it ranks No. 222 in the nation in 3-point percentage allowed. The Gaels' vulnerability here presents a big opportunity for the Blue Devils to get their stroke back, a huge key if they want to make a deep run. 

Exploit Iona's lack of size

The Gaels are small, and it has showed on the glass. 

Iona's tallest rotation player, Tarekeyi Edogi, stands at just 6-foot-8, while starting forwards E.J Crawford and Roland Griffin stand at just 6-foot-7. This is a huge mismatch for the Gaels, who will have to face up against Duke's towering big men—Wendell Carter Jr., Marvin Bagley III, Marques Bolden and even Javin DeLaurier, all at 6-foot-9 or taller. 

And it's not like Iona has been able to make up for its lack of size—it ranks near the worst in the nation in rebounding, while the Blue Devils have grabbed the third-most boards in the country. This should be an easy mismatch for Duke to exploit—look for Allen and Trevon Duval to feed Bagley and Carter early and often. 

Don't look past Gaels

Although the Blue Devils are facing one of the weakest opponents they have faced all year, they shouldn't be looking ahead to a potential second round matchup against either Oklahoma or Rhode Island. 

That lack of presence of mind has seemed to hurt them at times this year, when they played down to St. John's level the game before they were slated to travel to Chapel Hill. Duke can't afford to look past anyone, much less the Gaels, who have shown they can be dangerous from beyond the arc, ranking No. 31 in the nation in 3-point percentage. 

When the Blue Devils have underestimated opponents, it has tended to hurt their defense more than their offense, something they cannot afford to do against Iona, whose most dangerous trait is its ability to score.