Why the Michigan State Spartans Can Beat the Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16

By Trevor Lowry
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It will not be easy, but the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans can beat the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16.

Michigan State will really have to play good defense to make a game out of it with Duke, since the Blue Devils score more and have one of the best offenses in all of college basketball. However, it can be done.

Michigan State has only allowed 51 points in two NCAA Tournament games. If the Spartans can keep that up, no one is going to beat them in the tourney.

It will also help if this team can keep having players come up big in the scoring department. Derrick Nix dropped 23 points against N0. 14 Valparaiso and Gary Harris scored 23 points against No. 6 Memphis.

The Spartans are also rebounding the ball better in the tournament. They are averaging 42.5 rebounds per game, where they are only averaging 37.3 rebounds per game on the season.

The main thing Michigan State has to do is contain Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry. Those two players can score at will and big games out of both of them will result in a Michigan State loss. Not to mention, there is Ryan Kelly, who the Spartans also have to worry about.

Michigan State needs to keep this game slow paced or else Duke is going to start draining threes on fast breaks. The Spartans need to limit Duke’s three-point shooting as much as possible.

It would also help if Keith Appling could have a good game for Michigan State, since he is the point guard and arguably the best player on this team. The biggest thing is the fact that Michigan State needs to play its basketball and not get caught up in Duke’s basketball. The Spartans cannot try and trade threes with the Blue Devils because they will definitely lose if that is the case.

However, Michigan State has a great defense and the defense is going to have to come up really big in this game. The Spartans are the No. 3 seed in the Midwest team for a reason and this should be one heck of a game.


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