Michigan State Spartans (23-12) vs. Duke Blue Devils (29-6)
March 20, 2022 5:15 pm EDT
The Line: Duke Blue Devils -6.5 ; Over/Under: 144.5
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The Michigan State Spartans and the Duke Blue Devils meet Sunday in NCAA Tournament Second Round college basketball action from Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Michigan State is 23-12 this season. The Spartans beat Davidson in their First Round game. As for Duke, they’re sitting at 29-6 overall and coming off a Friday tournament win over Cal State Fullerton. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Michigan State got through the early part of the season well at 17-4 entering February. The Spartans didn’t have a ton of luck against a tough Big Ten in that month, but they bounced back with a couple of wins over Maryland and Wisconsin in the conference tourney.
In the Friday tournament matchup versus Davidson, the Spartans had to fight the whole way. Michigan State had a one-point halftime lead and held on for the tense 74-73 win. Joey Hauser put up 27 points with eight rebounds, and AJ Hoggard added 14 points with three boards.
As for Duke, they’ve been a strong team all year. The Blue Devils went through the season without consecutive losses, but fell to Virginia Tech in the conference tournament. Duke bounced back to start the NCAA Tournament on the right foot with a win over Cal State Fullerton, however.
On Friday matched up against CSU Fullerton, the Blue Devils managed a 37-27 lead by halftime. Duke scored 41 more points in the second half on the way to a 78-61 victory. Tops in scoring was Paolo Banchero with 17 points and 10 boards for a double-double. Mark Williams added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists as well.
PICK: I’m likely going to stick with Duke here. The Blue Devils scored just 67 points in a rough game versus Virginia Tech back on March 12, but outside of that the offensive output has been great lately. Duke has hit 78 or more points in six of their last seven games and they should score well in this matchup also.
As for Michigan State, they did just enough to get by a plucky Davidson team in the First Round. The Spartans had a thin rebounding advantage 37-34 and shot pretty well at 47.5 percent overall. We should have a great matchup on our hands here; I expect Michigan State to play another close game most of the way, but I think Duke can power out a cover.