The second of the Elite Eight games today features #1 Duke vs #2 Michigan State (5.05pm ET Sunday live on CBS) and it is a game not to be missed.
As soon as March Madness began, the majority of bracket filler-outers all came to the same conclusion. As ESPN reported, Duke was America’s pick with 70 percent of brackets submitted to the site, going chalk and picking the first overall seed Blue Devils to go all the way.
Duke has played well so far but not so dominant that people who picked them as their national champion should feel 100 percent secure. After routing North Dakota State University in the first round, Duke has played down to the wire in their last two. They needed a little bit of luck and owe player of the year Zion Williamson, who led the team in points (32), rebounds (11) and assists (4). Duke managed to just get by University of Central Florida.
In the Sweet 16, the Blue Devils faced another tough test against Virginia Tech and once again, Williamson really needed to put the team on his back. Duke came away with the victory, 75-73, but after two extremely close calls, the team seems to be sweating it a little bit. Duke has the talent and ability to make good on America’s pick but they will have to play a better game against Michigan State than they did in the last two rounds.
Alongside Duke, winners of the ACC Championship Tournament, Michigan State won the Big 10 Championship, making this the only matchup of the weekend between two tournament-winning teams. The Spartans however, have looked much better than their opponent, following their conference tournament victory. Michigan State won their first round meeting by 11 points and built on that win in the next round, easily dispatching Minnesota, 70-50.
In the Sweet 16, against a tough Louisiana State University team, Michigan State’s victory was never in doubt. The team never really trailed and ultimately ended up winning by 17 points. Much like Kentucky, Michigan State was led in each game by a different highest scorer, suggesting their depth heading into this Elite Eight showdown.
Michigan State vs Duke is a classic meeting any year, as these two are real powerhouses of the NCAA. Luck won’t be enough for Duke this time as Michigan State has been playing some of their best basketball this season.
The Duke vs Michigan State predictions for this preview are as follows:
- Duke is still favored with those sportsbooks for American players but look for Michigan State +2.5pts @ -115 with Bovada to walk away with the victory. The other bookies have the spread at 2pts.
- For the second of our picks, regarding the total points likely to be scored in this Elite Eight game, go over 150pts @ -115, again with Bovada who have set a lower points total than their rivals.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.