Duke vs. Michigan State - NCAA Tournament - 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 6:09 pm (Lucas Oil Stadium)
The Line: Duke Blue Devils -4.5 -- Over/Under: 137 See the Latest Odds
TV: TBS HD
The Michigan State Spartans and Duke Blue Devils will face off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Final Four of the NCAA Tournament this Saturday night.
The (7) Michigan State Spartans (27-11, 12-6 Big Ten) found their defense in the 2nd half and was able to knock of the (4) Louisville Cardinals, 76-70 in overtime, this past Sunday. The Spartans were able to hold the Cardinals to just 35.9% shooting from the field and held them to just 18.75% (6-32) from the field in the 2nd half and overtime. Leading the way for Michigan State was Denzel Valentine who had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in the victory. The Spartans finished the season ranked 22nd in the RPI standings, 16th in the BPI Standings, and played the 7th ranked SOS. On the season, Michigan State has been led by Travis Trice (15.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.1 apg) and Danzel Valentine (14.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.4 apg). Michigan State is averaging 71.4 ppg (ranked 74th) on 46.7% shooting (ranked 42nd). The Spartans average 7.6 three-pointers per game (ranked 58th) and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.49 (ranked 7th). Michigan State is holding their opponents to an average of 63.2 ppg (ranked 86th) on 39.3% shooting (ranked 25th). The Spartans pull down 37.5 total rpg (ranked 37th) and 4.6 bpg (ranked 50th).
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The (1) Duke Blue Devils (33-4, 15-3 ACC) got a surprising performance by Matt Jones and was able to pull away in the 2nd half to defeat the (2) Gonzaga Bulldogs, 66-52, this past Sunday night. The Blue Devils held the Bulldogs to just 20.0% (2-10) shooting from beyond the arc and won the turnover battle by a 13-3 margin. Leading the way for Duke was Matt Jones who had 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals in the victory. Duke finished the season ranked 5th in the RPI Standings, 7th in the BPI Standings, and played the 11th ranked SOS. On the season, the Blue Devils have been led by Jahlil Okafor (17.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 bpg) and Justise Winslow (12.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.3 spg). Duke is averaging 79.5 ppg (ranked 5th) on 50.2% shooting (ranked 3rd). The Blue Devils average 7.5 three-pointers per game (ranked 64th) and commit just 11.0 turnovers per game (ranked 43rd). Duke is allowing their opponents to average 64.3 ppg (ranked 112th) on 42.3% shooting (ranked 130th). The Blue Devils average 7.2 spg (ranked 65th) and pull down 36.95 total rpg (ranked 51st).
The Spartans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a S.U. win. The Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
Michigan State has once again put it all together at the right time and has made another incredible run to the NCAA Final Four. Duke has been led by their freshman all season and Justise Winslow has arguably been the best player in the NCAA Tournament as he has come big in clutch moments in the last two games for the Blue Devils. Duke and Michigan State did face off against each other earlier this season in the State Farm Champions Classic, in which the Blue Devils behind Jahlil Okafor were able to beat the Spartans by a 81-71 margin. For the Spartans to have a chance I feel that they will need to get hot beyond the arc, however Duke does defend the three-point well and I feel that the Blue Devils just has too many weapons for Michigan State to be able to handle. I expect Izzo to double Okafor in the post pretty much anytime he catches the ball, which will lead to open looks for Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook, and Justise Winslow. I can see this game being tight early as both Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo will have their teams ready at the start of this however, I think Duke will pull away in the 2nd half as they did against Gonzaga and cover this spread. Take Duke to cover in this one.