Matt Collins is heading to Indianapolis to report on the Final Four this weekend. Here’s his primer on the first matchup of the evening on Saturday — Duke vs. Michigan State — which tips off at 6:09 ET on TBS.
Duke is a No. 1 seed out of the South Region, and coach Mike Krzyzewski is taking the Blue Devils to the Final Four for the 12th time. Coach K now matches legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden for most Final Four appearances as a head coach. Duke won its last national championship — in Indianapolis — five years ago. With three freshman starters, the Blue Devils finished second in the ACC this season, led by JahlilOkafor, who is a National Player of the Year candidate.
Michigan State is a No. 7 seed coming out of the East Region, with coach Tom Izzo bringing the Spartans to the Final Four for the seventh time. Their last Final Four appearance was in 2010, at that same Final Four in Indianapolis. MSU finished third in the Big Ten this season, thanks to Izzo’s tenacious defensive schemes and the big play of Travis Trice, who was selected as the East Region’s Most Outstanding Player.
The Blue Devils have a fast-paced, high-powered offense, but the Spartans will attempt to control the tempo with their superior defense. These two teams last met in November in — you guessed it — Indianapolis, in the State Farm Champions Classic. The Blue Devils won 81–71. Although Duke is the favorite to win this rematch, Michigan State has built momentum during the tournament and may be difficult to stop.
In the end, this match-up will come down to Duke’s high scoring offense versus Michigan State’s tough defense. Don’t miss this game! Tune in Saturday to see who will advance to the national championship.
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