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Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | March 31, 2019

Duke-Michigan State: Preview, prediction, how to watch the Elite Eight game

Duke survives Sweet 16 scare from Virginia Tech, 75-73

The Duke-Michigan State game will decide the East Regional winner for the last spot in the Final Four. Find the game time, TV channel, how to watch and preview for the Elite Eight game below.

The Blue Devils are trying to make the Final Four for the first time since winning the national title in 2015. That's also the last time Michigan State reached the national semifinals. They met in the Final Four that year.

Duke-Michigan State: Time, TV channel, how to watch the Elite Eight game

Duke and Michigan State play for the East Regional crown at 5:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 31. The game can be watched on CBS and online with March Madness Live.

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The game is at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Duke-Michigan State: Preview for NCAA tournament game

The only No. 1 vs. No. 2 Elite Eight is in the East Region. It'll be for the final spot in the Final Four, following the West and South on Saturday and the Midwest earlier on Sunday.

Duke is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, though the Blue Devils have survived against No. 9 UCF and No. 4 Virginia Tech in consecutive games, winning by a combined three points.

No. 2 seed Michigan State has been more dominant. After starting slow against Bradley, the Spartans beat No. 10 Minnesota by 20 and No. 3 LSU by 17.

Because of those differences, it's easy to see reaction to this go one of two ways:

  • If Duke wins, it means the recent close games were a sign the Blue Devils were due for a breakout game.
  • If Duke loses, it means the recent close games were a sign the Blue Devils were in trouble all along.

Going into the game, KenPom rates Michigan State No. 3 and Duke fourth. Here's how the teams compare statistically.

Duke-Michigan State: Statistics, how they compare

Duke Statistic Michigan State
32-5 (14-4 ACC) Record 31-6 (16-4 Big Ten)
No. 1 Seed No. 2
83.1 PPG 78.5
67.8 Points against 65.0
47.9 FG percentage 48.6
39.7 FG percentage defense 37.8
30.7 3-point percentage 38.2
41.2 Rebounds per game 40.9
13.1 Offensive rebounds per game 10.9
9.2 Steals per game 5.1
6.7 Blocks per game 5.1
RJ Barrett
22.7
Leading scorer Cassius Winston
18.8
Zion Williamson
8.7
Leading rebounder Kenny Goins
9.0
Tre Jones
5.3
Leading assists Cassius Winston
7.5

Historically, Duke has dominated the series with Michigan State. The Blue Devils are 12-2 all-time against MSU, including an impressive 4-1 in the NCAA tournament. The most recent showdown was in 2015, when Duke routed MSU 81-61 in the Final Four.

Michigan State will be tasked with trying to at least slow down Zion Williamson. In three NCAA tournament games, Zion's posted 25, 32 and 23 points. But the Blue Devils might be without fellow freshman star Cam Reddish, who will be a game-time decision because of a sore left knee.

The Blue Devils might still be a slight favorite against Michigan State, especially with the change Zion takes over a game and carries Duke to the Final Four. The worry, as it has been all season, will be Duke's 3-point shooting.

If the Blue Devils can't dominate the glass and and the post, they will need to find the points from distance. On Friday, they shot only 6-for-20 from 3 — but Tre Jones made five of his seven 3-point shots. If Jones or RJ Barrett complement Zion again, Duke will be in good shape.

MARCH MADNESS: 2019 NCAA tournament bracket, schedule and scores

Michigan State has an injury scare, too, as Nick Ward hurt his hand against LSU on Friday. However, he seems more likely to play than Reddish.

The Spartans made 13 3-pointers against LSU and came up with 15 rebounds to help them finish plus-7 on the glass against the Tigers. Cassius Winston scored 17 with 8 assists as Aaron Henry led with 20 points and Gabe Brown scored 15 off the bench.

If the game is close late, the Spartans might have the depth edge that could be the difference. Then again, Duke has made it a habit to escape late.

Prediction: The way Duke has been playing, it would be easy to expect the bottom to fall out against a tested and surging Spartans team. Zion is Zion, so the Blue Devils might be in a slightly better position.

But sometimes, March Madness is about surprises. As small as this one would be, Michigan State finds a way to stun Duke.

Michigan State 79, Duke 77

March Madness 2019 dates, schedule, live streams and TV networks

Game Livestream Time (ET) TV Site
Monday, April 8        
Virginia 85, Texas Tech 77 (OT)
NCAA National Championship
March Madness Live 9:20 p.m. CBS Minneapolis, MN
Past results:        
Saturday, April 6        
Virginia 63, Auburn 62 (Final Four) March Madness Live 6:09 p.m. CBS Minneapolis, MN
Texas Tech 61, Michigan State 51 (Final Four) March Madness Live 8:49 p.m. CBS Minneapolis, MN
Sunday, March 31        
Auburn 77, Kentucky (OT)
(Midwest Regional Final
)
March Madness Live 2:20 p.m. CBS Kansas City, MO
Michigan State (68), Duke (67)
(East Regional Final)
March Madness Live 5:05 p.m. CBS Washington, D.C.
Saturday, March 30        
Texas Tech 75, Gonzaga 69
(West Regional Final)
March Madness Live 6:09 p.m. TBS Anaheim, CA
Virginia 80, Purdue 75 (OT)
(South Regional Final)
March Madness Live 8:49 p.m. TBS Louisville, KY
First Four, Tuesday, March 19        
Fairleigh Dickinson 82, Prairie View A&M 76 March Madness Live 6:30 pm truTV Dayton, OH
Belmont 81, Temple 70  March Madness Live 9:00 pm TruTV Dayton, OH
First Four, Wednesday, March 20        
North Dakota State 78, NC Central 74 March Madness Live  6:30 pm truTV Dayton, OH
Arizona State 74, St. John's 65 March Madness Live 9:00 pm truTV Dayton, OH
First round, Thursday, March 21        
Minnesota 86, Louisville 76 March Madness Live 12:15 pm CBS Des Moines, IA
LSU 79, Yale 74 March Madness Live 12:40 pm truTV Jacksonville, FL
Auburn 78, New Mexico State 77 March Madness Live  1:30 pm TNT Salt Lake City, UT
Florida State 76, Vermont 69 March Madness Live 2:00 pm TBS Hartford, CT
Michigan State 76, Bradley 65 March Madness Live  2:45 pm CBS Des Moines, IA
Maryland 79, Belmont 77 March Madness Live 3:10 pm truTV Jacksonville, FL
Kansas 87, Northeastern 53 March Madness Live 4:00 pm TNT Salt Lake City, UT
Murray State 83, Marquette 64 March Madness Live 4:30 pm TBS Hartford, CT
Florida 70, Nevada 61 March Madness Live 6:50 pm TNT Des Moines, IA
Kentucky 79, Abilene Christian 44 March Madness Live 7:10 pm CBS Jacksonville, FL
Villanova 61, Saint Mary's 57 March Madness Live 7:20 pm TBS Hartford, CT
Gonzaga 87, Fairleigh Dickinson 49 March Madness Live 7:27 pm truTV Salt Lake City, UT
Michigan 74, Montana 55 March Madness Live 9:20 pm TNT Des Moines, IA
Wofford 84, Seton Hall 68 March Madness Live 9:40 pm CBS Jacksonville, FL
Purdue 61, Old Dominion 48 March Madness Live 9:50 pm TBS Hartford, CT
Baylor 78, Syracuse 69 March Madness Live 9:57 pm truTV Salt Lake City, UT
First round, Friday, March 22        
Iowa 79, Cincinnati 72  March Madness Live 12:15 pm CBS Columbus, OH
Oklahoma 95, Mississippi 72 March Madness Live 12:40 pm truTV Columbia, SC
Texas Tech 72, Northern Kentucky 57 March Madness Live 1:30 pm TNT Tulsa, OK
UC Irvine 70, Kansas State 64 March Madness Live 2:00 pm  TBS San Jose, CA
Tennessee 77, Colgate 70 March Madness Live 2:45 pm CBS Columbus, OH
Virginia 71, Gardner-Webb 56 March Madness Live 3:10 pm truTV Columbia, SC
Buffalo 91, Arizona State 74 March Madness Live 4:00 pm TNT Tulsa, OK
Oregon 72, Wisconsin 54 March Madness Live 4:30 pm TBS San Jose, CA
Washington 78, Utah State 61 March Madness Live 6:50 pm TNT Columbus, OH
Duke 85, North Dakota State 62 March Madness Live 7:10 pm CBS Columbia, SC
Houston 84, Georgia State 55 March Madness Live 7:20 pm TBS Tulsa, OK 
Liberty 80, Mississippi State 76 March Madness Live 7:27 pm truTV San Jose, CA
North Carolina 88, Iona 73 March Madness Live 9:20 pm TNT Columbus, OH
UCF 73, VCU 58 March Madness Live 9:40 pm CBS Columbia, SC
Ohio State 62, Iowa State 59 March Madness Live 9:50 pm TBS Tulsa, OK
Virginia Tech 66, Saint Louis 52 March Madness Live  9:57 pm truTV San Jose, CA
Second round, Saturday, March 23        
LSU 69, Maryland 67 March Madness Live 12:10 pm CBS Jacksonville, FL
Kentucky 62, Wofford 56 March Madness Live 2:40 pm CBS Jacksonville, FL
Michigan 64, Florida 49 March Madness Live 5:15 pm CBS Des Moines, IA
Florida State 90, Murray State 62 March Madness Live 6:10 pm TNT Hartford, CT
Gonzaga 83, Baylor 71 March Madness Live 7:10 pm TBS Salt Lake City, UT
Michigan State 70, Minnesota 50 March Madness Live 7:45 pm CBS Des Moines, IA
Purdue 87, Villanova 61 March Madness Live 8:40 pm TNT Hartford, CT
Auburn 89, Kansas 75 March Madness Live 9:40 pm TBS Salt Lake City, UT
Second round, Sunday, March 24        
Tennessee 83, Iowa 77 (OT) March Madness Live 12:10 pm CBS Columbus, OH
North Carolina 81, Washington 59 March Madness Live 2:40 pm CBS Columbus, OH
Duke 77, UCF 76 March Madness Live 5:25 pm CBS Columbia, SC
Texas Tech 78, Buffalo 58 March Madness Live 6:10 pm TNT Tulsa, OK
Virginia Tech 67, Liberty 58 March Madness Live 7:10 pm TBS San Jose, CA
Virginia 63, Oklahoma 51 March Madness Live 7:45 pm truTV Columbia, SC
Houston 74, Ohio State 59 March Madness Live 8:40 pm TNT Tulsa, OK
Oregon 73, UC Irvine 54 March Madness Live 9:40 pm TBS San Jose, CA
Sweet 16, Thursday, March 28        
Gonzaga 72, Florida State 58 March Madness Live 7:09 pm CBS Anaheim, CA
Purdue 99, Tennessee 94 (OT) March Madness Live 7:29 pm TBS Louisville, KY
Texas Tech 63, Michigan 44 March Madness Live 9:39 pm CBS Anaheim, CA
Virginia 53, Oregon 49 March Madness Live 9:57 pm TBS Louisville, KY
Sweet 16, Friday, March 29        
Michigan State 80, LSU 63 March Madness Live 7:09 pm CBS Washington, D.C.
Auburn 97, North Carolina 80 March Madness Live 7:29 pm TBS Kansas City, MO
Duke 75, Virginia Tech 73 March Madness Live 9:39 pm CBS Washington, D.C.
Kentucky 62, Houston 58 March Madness Live 9:57 pm TBS Kansas City, MO

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