Duke vs Michigan State Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament Second Round

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Duke vs Michigan State Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament Second Round

College Football Predictions

Duke vs Michigan State Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament Second Round

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Duke vs Michigan State prediction: NCAA Tournament Second Round pick and college basketball game preview.


Duke vs Michigan State Game Preview, How To Watch

Date: Sunday, March 20
Game Time: 5:15 pm
Venue: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC
How To Watch: CBS
Records: Duke (2 seed, 29-6)
Michigan State (7 seed, 23-12)
Region: West

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Why Michigan State Will Win

Duke has been very, very shaky.

Yeah, it was a layup of a 78-61 win over Cal State Fullerton in the first round, but the Titans weren’t awful on the boards – they came up with several offensive rebounds – and weren’t forced into a whole lot of mistakes.

Granted, that wasn’t Duke on full throttle, but it didn’t find the extra gear with a shot to send Mike Krzyzewski out with an ACC Tournament Championship, it got steamrolled by North Carolina in Coach K’s final home game, it wasn’t great against Miami or Syracuse in the tournament, and now it’s up to Michigan State to be the tougher, tighter team.

The Spartans haven’t exactly been a rock of consistency, but they’ve won four out of their last five bay moving the ball around well and doing a great job from three – at least until the last few games.

For all of the great things Duke does, the defense just doesn’t come up with turnovers. That’s a massive break for a Michigan State offense that gives the ball away in bunches. However …

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Why Duke Will Win

To be fair, Michigan State has locked down on the giveaways over the last few games. That could change in an instant if and when Duke cranks up the defensive pressure on key possessions.

It’s this simple. When Michigan State doesn’t make shots, it doesn’t win. It doesn’t have the ability to overcome a bad shooting day with the normal defensive nastiness and rebounding ability that’s become the Spartan trademark.

Michigan State is 18-1 when it shoots 47% or better from the field, and it’s 6-8 when it doesn’t.

Duke has only allowed eight teams to make more than 47% of their shots, and it’s 25-1 when teams shoot under 45%. Michigan State has shot better than 47% in four of its last five games, but two of those games were against Maryland and one was against Wisconsin – who has a worse defense than you might think.

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Duke vs Michigan State: What’s Going To Happen

Mike Krzyzewski vs Tom Izzo.

Like that’s not going to be played up with the over/under on coach reaction shots at 237.5.

There are two ways to look at this.

It’s going to be a hard-nosed, tough defensive game because it’s the NCAA Tournament, but also because these two coaching staffs are about to turn their respective games up just a wee bit more.

Normally that would favor Michigan State, but Duke is the better defensive team on the inside and it’s every bit as strong at guarding the three and passing the ball around.

And the fouls. Michigan State fouls a whole lot, and Duke doesn’t have that problem.

Throw in the Spartan turnovers that will start to come in the second half, and …

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Duke vs Michigan State Prediction: NCAA Tournament Second Round, Lines

Prediction: Duke 75, Michigan State 69
Line: Duke -6.5, o/u: 144.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Duke vs Michigan State Must See Rating: 5

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