Michigan State Spartans vs Duke Blue Devils: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., USA.

When: Sunday, March 31st at 5:05pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): CBS; March Madness Live Stream on NCAA.com

Michigan State Spartans

Head Coach: Tom Izzo {Overall: 31-6 .838 W-L% | Conference: 16-4, T-1st in Big Ten}

The Michigan State Spartans come into this game having won their last two contests by more than 15 points each, with their latest victim being LSU on Friday night. Coach Tom Izzo will look to return to the Final Four for the first time since 2015 by beating the school that eliminated his squad that year.

In their game against LSU on March 29th, the Spartans laid down an 80-63 beating on the Tigers. Freshman forward Aaron Henry had by far his best performance of the season, scoring 20 points while adding eight rebounds and six assists.

Point guard Cassius Winston chipped in with 17 points while dishing out 8 assists. The Big Ten Player of the Year was far from flawless in this game, however, as he managed to cough up five turnovers in the win.

Duke Blue Devils

Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski {Overall: 32-5, .865 W-L% | Conference: 14-4, 3rd in ACC}

Having already escaped elimination against UCF in the second round, the Duke Blue Devils gave their fans another roller coaster ride. This time, the challenger was a familiar foe in Virginia Tech. Now, Coach K and his freshman-heavy team are on the doorstep of their first Final Four since winning the national title in 2015.

The Blue Devils managed to beat the Hokies on Friday night by a score of 75-73. The victory came despite missing freshman forward Cam Reddish, who was taken out of starting line-up just before game time and replaced by sophomore guard, Alex O’Connell.

Leading the way, as usual, was Zion Williamson, who scored 23 points. Fellow freshman Tre Jones stepped up in Reddish’s role as a three-point threat and dropped 22 points while hitting five of seven attempts from beyond the arc, while Duke’s third freshman star, R.J. Barrett had a double-double of 17 points and 11 assists.

Michigan State Roster Notes

Junior guard Joshua Langford is out for the season after suffering an ankle injury against Illinois on December 29th.

Junior guard Kyle Ahrens is out indefinitely with an ankle injury, which he suffered against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament final on March 17th.

Junior forward Nick Ward is listed as probable against Duke with a hand injury suffered against LSU.

Duke Roster Notes

Junior forward Jack White is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury suffered against Florida State in the ACC Tournament Final on March 16th.

Freshman forward Cam Reddish is listed as questionable with a knee injury that kept him out against Virginia Tech on March 29th.

Head-to-Head: Nick Ward vs Zion Williamson

Nick Ward

Power Forward | 6-9, 245lb (206cm, 111kg) | Lincoln HS | Gahanna, OH | Junior

13.4 PPG | 0.7 APG | 6.1 RPG | 0.3 SPG | 1.3 BPG | 2.1 TOV | .585 FG% | .1.000 3P%

Zion Williamson

Power Forward | 6-7, 285lb (201cm, 129kg) | Spartanburg Day School | Spartanburg, SC | Freshman

22.6 PPG | 2.1 APG | 8.7 RPG | 2.1 SPG | 1.8 BPG | 2.3 TOV | .688 FG% | .338 3P%

The matchup to focus on in this game will involve two big bodies who are not afraid to play physical. Duke’s Zion Williamson has looked like a man amongst boys in what is likely his only college season. The uber-athletic Williamson could meet his match, however, against Nick Ward who has shown during his three years in East Lansing that he does not mind dealing out punishment with his large frame.

Despite losing his spot in the starting lineup to Xavier Tillman after the regular season finale, Ward has been a crucial piece to the Spartan’s rotation. The Ohio native played a big role in the win over LSU, as he blocked three shots while helping limit LSU’s 6-10 freshman, Naz Reid, to 10 points on 5 of 14 shooting. With Williamson being a focal point for Duke, it should not come as a surprise if Ward’s minutes spike.

Whether he is dominating SportsCenter with his highlight reel dunks, or simply stuffing the box score, Zion Williamson has done more than enough to make NBA scouts salivate. Since returning from his knee injury on March 14th, Williamson has averaged 26.8 points per game, which includes his monster performance against UCF in round two, where he poured in 32 points while grabbing 11 boards.

Michigan State vs Duke Predictions and Odds

Bettors residing in New Jersey can wager on a variety of props such as point spreads, over/unders, and player stats at the 888Sport sportsbook or at BetStars NJ.

Here are the moneyline odds offered by legal sportsbooks in New Jersey:

Sportsbook Michigan State Duke Link
888Sport NJ +120 -157
BetStars NJ +132 -162