Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans - 4/4/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Michigan State Spartans (27-11) at Duke Blue Devils (33-4)
College Basketball: Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 6:05 pm (Lucas Oil Stadium)
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -5 -- Over/Under: 140 See the Latest Odds
The Duke Blue Devils meet the Michigan State Spartans with a trip to the National Championship on the line.
Tom Izzo has the Michigan State Spartans in a familiar position as the team is in the National Championship hunt. The Spartans were taken to the limit by Louisville before prevailing 76-70 in overtime to advance to the Final Four. The Cardinals appeared to be in control with an eight point lead at the half before the Spartans came back and dominated the extra session. MSU won with a defense with the Cardinals limited to 36% from the floor while their own 43% accuracy adding up to three more baskets. Travis Trice led a trio of double digit scorers with 17 points, five yanks and five helpers with Denzel Valentine adding 15 points, seven boards and six assists. Bryn Forbes was next in line with 14 points while Branden Dawson chipped in with nine points and grabbed eleven rebounds.
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When Gonzaga took the floor with Duke in their Elite Eight match up Mark Few was looking for his first trip to the Final Four but when the horn sounded it was Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils heading to the semifinals for the 12th time. The Blue Devils pulled away late to break open a close game to win 66-52 despite less then 38% marksmanship. The Bulldogs connected at 44% but were just 2-10 from distance and went to the line nine times while Duke went 8-19 on threes and dominated the charity stripe with a 16-19 performance. Justin Winslow and Matt Jones gave the offense 16 points apiece followed by Tyus Jones who added 15 points and six helpers. Quinn Cook netted ten points and Jahlil Okafor tossed in nine points and grabbed a contest high eight rebounds.
Coach K is a grizzled veteran in the Final Four and knows what to expect on one of the biggest stages in all of sports. The Blue Devils have the talent to win it all even though Kentucky is getting all the headlines. Having said that Duke still has to go through Tom Izzo and Michigan State who always seem to be National Championship material. In my view this might not be the best Spartans team but it’s a fantastic coaching job by Izzo and for now I’ll take the points and dig deeper as the game approaches…