They can play Defense?!: Duke ends Michigan State 71-61

TomShoe's picture
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Joined: 01/27/2012
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They can play Defense?!: Duke ends Michigan State 71-61

Seriously, that was quite the defensive effort given out by both teams.

In a drag-it-out game that had both teams playing physical, the Blue Devils managed to pull it out by playing stunning defense at a level never seen before. In 2012, Duke's defense was their main achilles' heel, and it was a huge reason for them to be bounced in the 1st round. But it seems like the new additions and a change philosophy has revitalized them at the other end of the floor. Kudos to Michigan State as well, as they limited Duke to shooting 41% from the floor, and grabbed 33 rebounds to Duke's 26.

Michigan State led a very balanced scoring attack, getting good scoring from their bench. Duo Keith Appling and Adreian Payne led the Spartans, scoring a combined 30 points. Unfortunately, Payne, Derrick Nix, and G Gary Harris were all pretty inefficient from the field, only shooting a combined 8-31 from the field, many points coming from free throws.

This time around though, Seth Curry was the star, shooting 6-7 from 3 and hanging 29 points on the Spartans, Mason Plumlee was his usual self, scoring 14 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Rasheed Sulaimon was a free throw machine, 12 of his 16 points coming from free throws. But this game was decided by defense. Michigan State, at one point, went 13 whole minutes without making a single field goal, allowing the Devils to pull away and advance. Duke moves on to face #1 overall seed Louisville in the elite 8. Barring FGCU advancing (which, at this point, is looking unlikely), this could be the must watch game of the elite 8.

BlueRivers25's picture
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Joined: 08/04/2012
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Black Wojo was key

Black Wojo came off the bench and hit a 3 right away. Then made a hard, smart foul on Nix preventing a break away. Even though it was later changed to a intentional, it clearly set the tone that Duke was the tougher team.

Cook played like a little punk today, but Black Wojo's effort was the key to Duke's win.

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