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2015 College Basketball Betting – Coach K Is 8-1 Versus Coach Izzo

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/30/2015 9:09:50 PM

In a college basketball season that has taken a lot of twists and turns, a big surprise is that a number seven seed has reached the Final Four. Now that the Michigan State Spartans have made it this far, can they continue to pull off surprises?

Final Four:

Michigan State Spartans vs. Duke Blue Devils (Game In Indianapolis) – Saturday, April 4

The Michigan State Spartans are the only team in the Final Four that’s not a number one seed. The other three top seeds all reached the final stages of the NCAA tournament, showing why they were seeded as highly as they were. Michigan State is the team that made an unexpected run through the brackets, but the fact that Michigan State is a seventh seed should not mean that this team isn’t capable of winning it all. The Spartans beat a number two seed, a number three seed, and a number four seed (in order) to reach the Final Four. They did not beat lower-seeded teams after their first game. They did not get lucky in their bracket. They beat tough opponents.

Michigan State is getting its best basketball of the season from guard Travis Trice. He was sensational in the just-concluded East Regional in Syracuse, scoring 41 points in two games while committing a total of only three turnovers. Against Oklahoma and then Louisville, Trice stabilized Michigan State’s offense and hit pressure-packed free throws late in each game. He was everything he wasn’t during much of the regular season. With Trice being this good, all his teammates are growing in confidence because they know that if any opponent double-teams Trice or tries to hedge on him at the top of the key, Trice can get them the ball for a good open look. Michigan State is also getting great basketball from Denzel Valentine, who scored a total of 33 points in the East Regional and is playing really well on defense as well, using his length to bother opposing shooters. Michigan State certainly has the ability to win this game.

Duke, though, is going to benefit from having Jahlil Okafor going up against Michigan State’s Matt Costello. Okafor is way too quick for Costello, and that’s going to be one key point of separation between these two teams. What Duke also has is a lot of quick guards and wings, players who are more likely to get to the basket than Michigan State’s guards can. Matt Jones was great for the Blue Devils in their regional final victory over Gonzaga on Sunday, scoring 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting. A few nights earlier, small forward Justise Winslow hit over 50 percent of his shots and scored 21 points. Duke gets scoring from so many sources that Michigan State’s team defense is likely to be stretched thin as the game goes along. This is the biggest reason why the Blue Devils are probably going to wear down the Spartans and become the superior team in the final five minutes. Take Duke here.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Duke

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