No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Duke

No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Duke | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on December 1, 2020

The Champions Classic is one of the highlights of the non-conference portion of every college basketball season, and the first game of Tuesday’s Classic doubleheader is a Top-10 matchup as No. 8 Michigan State visits No. 6 Duke. The game is being held in Durham instead of a neutral site per usual but no fans will be in attendance.

How to Bet Michigan State at Duke NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Duke -4 (total 152)

Last Meeting

The schools met last year in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in East Lansing and Duke prevailed 87-75 when it was ranked No. 10 and MSU No. 11. Vernon Carey Jr. had 26 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for Duke; he’s now in the NBA. Tre Jones scored 20 points, had 12 assists and made three steals. He’s also now in the NBA. Duke went on an 8-1 run midway through the first half to build a double-digit cushion and led 45-29 at halftime. Spartans star guard Cassius Winston, also now in the NBA, had 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

This is the 17th all-time meeting between Michigan State and Duke. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series, 13-3. Mike Krzyzewski is 12-2 all-time vs. Tom Izzo.

Why Bet on Michigan State? | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Champions Classic will be played in separate venues this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Kentucky playing Kansas in Indianapolis. The Spartans are 3-5 all-time in the Champions Classic, including an 0-3 mark against Duke.

The Spartans (2-0) come off an 80-70 home win over Notre Dame on Saturday. Sparty used a 26-0 run over the last five-plus minutes of the first half and the opening five minutes of the second half to break things open.

Transfer forward Joey Hauser had the first double-double of his career with 10 points and a career-high 16 rebounds (adding four assists) to lead the Spartans, as two other players scored in double figures and 11 players had at least two points. Fellow forward Aaron Henry finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a career-high four blocks, while guard Rocket Watts added 13 points, tied his career high with six assists and had two rebounds.

The Spartans held the Irish without a field for the final 7:13 of the first half and out-scored Notre Dame 17-0 over the final minutes, taking a 39-26 lead on a pair of free throws from Henry. The Spartans had a 48-36 advantage in rebounding, grabbed 12 offensive rebounds and scored 12 second-chance points. MSU outscored Notre Dame, 39-6, in bench points and MSU blocked 12 shots, including 10 in the first half.

Led by Henry, a preseason All-Big Ten selection who was third on the team in scoring (10.0 ppg), rebounds (4.6 rpg), assists (2.8 apg) and minutes played (29.0), the Spartans return six other players who started a combined 63 games last year and five who played at least 10 minutes per game.

This will be Michigan State’s fourth visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Spartans are 0-3 at Duke. This is MSU’s first visit to Duke since a 78-69 loss on November 29, 2016.

Why Bet on Duke? | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Duke had a game canceled already due to COVID and comes off an 81-71 victory over Coppin State on Saturday. Freshman Jalen Johnson had 19 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks. The 6-foot-9 Johnson made all eight of his shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, and both of his free throws while also tallying five assists. Fellow rookie DJ Steward scored 24 points for the Blue Devils, including a key 3-pointer with 2:02 left.

Johnson’s 19 rebounds were third-most by a Duke freshman in any game, trailing only the 21 by Marvin Bagley III vs. Florida State (12/30/17) and the 20 by Jahlil Okafor vs. Elon (12/15/14). Johnson’s 15 defensive rebounds are a Duke freshman single-game record. Johnson joined Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ as the only power conference players in the last 10 years with 15+ points, 15+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 4+ blocks in a game.

Finally, Johnson became just the third Duke freshman to post a double-double in a debut game, joining Jason Williams (13 points, 10 rebounds) vs. Stanford on Nov. 11, 1999 and Bagley III (25 points, 10 rebounds) vs. Elon on Nov. 10, 2017.

The Blue Devils shot 53% but committed 22 turnovers to give the Eagles plenty of extra chances, with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski saying simply: “It’s tough to explain some of those turnovers.” Duke helped offset the turnover problem and a bad day at the foul line (4 for 10) by finishing with a 50-31 rebounding advantage.

The Blue Devils have now connected on at least one three-pointer in 1,091 consecutive games, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation. Duke blocked seven shots in the game, extending a streak dating back to last season of five or more blocked shots in nine straight games. The Blue Devils finished second in the nation in blocked shots last season (6.1 per game).

Tuesday will be the 50th AP top-10 matchup in Cameron Indoor Stadium history. Duke is 33-16 in top-10 matchups at Cameron Indoor (29-11 in the Krzyzewski era) and has won seven of the last nine. The Blue Devils are riding a three-game winning streak in the Champions Classic and their 6-3 record in the annual event is the best among the four programs.

Game Trends

  • Spartans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
  • Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Spartans are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games.
  • Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
  • Blue Devils are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
  • Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games.

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Duke 76, Michigan State 70


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