Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan St. Spartans
The unranked Michigan State Spartans looks to send the number six Duke Blue Devils to their first defeat of the season. The Spartans opened the season with a 67-55 loss to North Carolina while the Blue Devils routed Presbyterian 96-55. The Blue Devils are -5 point favorites over the Spartans with an over/under of 138.5.
Duke used a 29-6 scoring burst midway through the first half to break open a close came to take a 50-23 lead in to the break and were never challenged by an outmanned Presbyterian. Ryan Kelly came off the bench to toss in a game high 17 points on 5 of 8 shooting while Austin Rivers followed with 15 points on 5 of 8 accuracy. The Blue Hose managed to hang tough with Duke for the first ten minutes but at the final whistle they weren’t nearly as big enough or quick enough to pull the miracle upset. The Blue Devils hit a torrid 61.4% from the field including 8 of 16 three balls. Presbyterian connected at just a 33% pace and needed to find extra looks at the basket to compensate but didn’t find much help on the glass with the bigger Blue Devils dominating the backboards to the tune of 43-24. Michigan State stayed with North Carolina early but the Tar Heels had too much scoring punch and balance.
Draymond Green led three Spartans in double digits with 13 points on 6 of 19 shooting while Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne each chipped in with ten points. Green was a monster on the backboards with 18 pulls with seven of the offensive variety. The backboards was the one bright spot for Michigan State who commanded a 49-34 advantage on the glass including a whopping 24 offensive pulls. Despite the disparity on the glass the Tar Heels owned a 10-3 edge in blocked shots. In the end the Spartans didn’t shoot the basketball well and North Carolina did. MSU hit at just 30.6% clip including 2 of 20 from behind the line.
It wasn’t totally unexpected that Michigan State fell to North Carolina but their poor marksmanship was. The Spartans simply need to shoot better especially from distance. Duke might have escaped Belmont in the opener but destroyed Presbyterian as they should have. The worry here is the same as in the first two games in that this team hasn’t been together very long. I’m taking Duke minus the 5 here.
Duke Blue Devils -5 Michigan St. Spartans