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.
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.