Duke vs. Michigan State - 3/31/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Michigan State at Duke
Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 4:05 PM (Capital One Arena)
Duke Blue Devils -3 -- Over/Under: 153.5
The 2-seed Michigan State Spartans & 1-seed Duke Blue Devils will square off at Capital One Arena this Sunday in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Men’s Championship.
The 2-seed Michigan State Spartans (31-6) followed up their solid wins over Bradley & Minnesota in the 1st two rounds of the NCAA Tournament with an impressive 80-63 victory over the 3-seed LSU Tigers this past Friday. Michigan State outplayed LSU on both ends of the court in the victory and had no trouble securing the win after taking a 70-54 lead with 6:52 left in regulation. Michigan State shot 47.0% from the field while holding LSU to 39.3% shooting from the field and 28.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Spartans was Aaron Henry who had 20 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, and a steal.
On the season, Michigan State is averaging 78.5 ppg on 48.6% shooting from the field. The Spartans are averaging 8.1 three-pointers per game on 38.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Michigan State has been led by Cassius Winston (18.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 7.5 apg, 1.0 spg), Nick Ward (13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.3 bpg), Matt McQuaid (9.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.2 apg), and Kenny Goins (8.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.4 bpg).
Defensively, Michigan State is holding their opponents to an average of 65.1 ppg on 37.7% shooting from the field. The Spartans have a rebound margin of 9.5 and a turnover margin of -2.9.
The 1-seed Duke Blue Devils (32-5) survived another nail-bitter as the top-seed Blue Devils defeated the 4-seed Virginia Tech Hokies, 75-73, late on Friday night. Similar to their game agianst UCF, Virginia Tech had a chance to send it to OT late, however, the Hokies Ahmed Hill missed a wide-open tip-in as time expired. Duke shot 55.4% from the field in the victory while holding Virginia Tech to 40.3% shooting from the field and 34.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Blue Devils was Zion Williamson who had 23 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 3 blocks.
On the season, Duke is averaging 83.4 ppg on 47.7% shooting from the field. The Blue Devils are averaging 7.4 three-pointers per game on 30.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Duke has been led by Zion Williamson (22.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.1 spg, 1.7 bpg), RJ Barrett (22.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 4.1 apg), Cam Reddish (13.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.6 spg), and Tre Jones (9.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.0 spg). Cam Reddish missed the last game against Virginia Tech with a knee injury and at this time, must be considered questionable for this match-up.
Defensively, Duke is holding their opponents to an average of 67.6 ppg on 39.6% shooting from the field. The Blue Devils have a rebound margin of 6.0 and a turnover margin of 1.8.
The Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games and 23-8 ATS in their last 31 games after a win. The Blue Devils are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games and 14-17 ATS in their last 31 games after a victory.
Michigan State had their most impressive showing in this year’s tournament against a very good LSU team as the Spartans were able to dominate on the offensive boards, while their defense (34th ranked scoring defense; 3rd ranked defensive FG%) was once again outstanding. Duke has been living on the edge in their last two games, however, there is no denying that the Blue Devils can beat anyone in the country behind their star duo of Zion Williamson & RJ Barrett. Duke is going to be tough to beat if Tre Jones continues to hit open jumpers as he did agianst Virginia Tech, however, Michigan State is an outstanding defensive team and I think the play here is to take Michigan State and the points. Good Luck!