Although the Michigan State Spartans are a No. 3 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, they will likely enter the Sweet 16 against the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils as the underdog. With that said, the key for the Spartans coming up with the victory in this game will be their defense.
Assuming that the Spartans contain Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry, they very well could be in the Elite Eight this year.
Curry and Plumlee help to make up the sixth highest scoring offense in the nation. Fellow senior Ryan Kelly is very capable of going off for a big game as well, although he has not played his best basketball in the Big Dance so far. If all three of those players have big games against the Spartans, Duke will easily move on to the next round.
Michigan State needs to limit the fast break points in this one and make sure that Duke’s shooters are not left open from behind the arc. The Blue Devils can sink threes in a hurry, which is a big reason why their offense is one of the best in the country.
The Spartans definitely have some players that can score, like Keith Appling, but it will be up to their defense to lead this team to victory. So far Michigan State’s defense has only given up an average of 51 points per game in the dance. Another impressive performance out of the Spartans defense will have them in the Elite Eight.
If you’re a tweeter, feel free to follow me @TheTrevorLowry.