The 7th seeded Michigan State Spartans take on the Duke Blue Devils in the first Final Four game tonight. The Spartans and coach Tom Izzo are at it again. Michigan State is in the Final Four for the 7th time since 1999 after their 76-70 win over Louisville last weekend. They simply outshot the Cardinals 43% to 35%. They haven’t cruised into the Final Four like Duke, but that surely wasn’t expected when the Tournament started.
The Duke Blue Devils have won their 4 games by an average of 17 points and have looked pretty good in doing so. Gonzaga was supposed to give them a real test and they did until the last 5 minutes when Duke showed their muscle and ran away to a 14 point win. The Blue Devils didn’t get much from their bench against the Zags as the starting 5 scored all 66 points.
This is a dream coaching matchup between Izzo and Krzyzewski. These teams met back in November in Indianapolis and Duke won 81-71. Both teams shot over 50%, but Duke made 14 more free throws that night and forced the Spartans to turn the ball over 13 times. I expect a much lower scoring game this time around. Duke is loaded and they don’t appear to be slowing down. I think they win and cover.
PICK: Duke -5.5