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Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans

Duke Blue Devils (32-5) vs. Michigan State Spartans (31-6)  (TV: CBS)

NCAAB Tournament: Sunday, March 31 2019 5:05 PM ET (Capital One Arena) Washington, DC

Money line: Duke -140 Michigan St. +120  Spread: Duke -2  Over/under: 150.5

Free March Madness Pick Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans

The Duke Blue Devils will take on the Michigan State Spartans in their Elite 8 matchup. Duke has the most talent out of any team in the field with 4 likely first round picks in the NBA Draft with Zion Williamson, (22.6 ppg 8.7 rpg 2.1 apg) RJ Barrett, (22.7 ppg 7.6 rpg 4.3 apg) Cam Reddish (13.6 ppg 3.7 rpg 2.0 apg) and Tre Jones (9.5 ppg 3.7 rpg 5.3 apg). If Duke wins the NCAA Championship they will be remembered as one of the greatest college teams in history.

Willamson is a tough matchup for any team because of his size and athleticism. He is built like a truck, but moves like a deer and Michigan St. will need to throw double teams at him to attempt to slow down this once in a generation athlete. RJ Barrett is a great point forward for Duke and is able to do a little bit of everything for the team. A talented ball handler for his size, Barrett really showed his all around game in their previous outing against Virginia Tech with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 11 assists in a close 75-73 win. 

Cam Reddish missed their previous game with a sore left knee and is a game-time decision against Michigan St. If Reddish is available, he will provide Duke will a solid three point shooter, shooting 33.3% from 3. Their point guard, Tre Jones is a solid ball handling option for the team and can run the team capably as well as hit the 3, with 5 triples in their previous game against Virginia Tech.

Michigan St. is lead by junior point guard, Cassius Winston (18.8 ppg 3.1 rpg 7.5 apg). Winston is able to break down the defense and finish well at the rim as well as hit the 3, shooting 40.2% from 3. Winston will need to have a big game and get his teammates involved in order to match Duke’s scoring output. Junior forward, Nick Ward (13.4 ppg 6.2 rpg 0.7 apg) will need to play well defensively against Williamson on the post. Freshman forward, Aaron Henry (6.0 ppg 3.9 rpg 1.5 apg) had his best game of the season in their blowout win over LSU, 80-63 leading the team with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in a starting role. If he can have a similar performance against Duke it will give Michigan St. another option on the interior.

Cover The Spread 365 Stats

Duke Blue Devils

Duke is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games

Duke is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Duke’s last 20 games

Duke is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Michigan State

Duke is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Michigan State

The total has gone OVER in 8 of Duke’s last 9 games when playing Michigan State

Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games

Michigan State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Michigan State’s last 5 games

Michigan State is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Duke

Michigan State is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Duke

The total has gone OVER in 8 of Michigan State’s last 9 games when playing Duke

March Madness Pick Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans

This game will likely come down to defense and how well each teams’ best players can play in Cassius Winston for Michigan St. and Zion Williamson for Duke. Duke averages 82.90 ppg, while Michigan St. averages 77.43 ppg. Duke allows 68.81 ppg, while Michigan St. allows 66.14 ppg. Tempo will be key as Duke is a tough team to deal with in transition with athletes like Williamson and Barrett running the wings on fast breaks. Making it a half court game will suit Michigan St. well and Duke will need to create turnovers to get easy buckets against a stingy defense. Expect a close game, that has Duke advancing.

Pick: Duke -2 

Jason Barron
Jason Barron
Jason is an expert who gives unparalleled advice when it comes to the NBA, NFL and college sports. His slogan is "Eye Test Sports Without Stats" and that's exactly what you are going to get here. No fancy stats, just observation and analysis!
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