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.
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
|32-5 (14-4 ACC)||Record||31-6 (16-4 Big Ten)|
|No. 1||Seed||No. 2|
|39.7||FG percentage defense||37.8|
|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|
|Leading scorer||Cassius Winston
|Leading rebounder||Kenny Goins
|Leading assists||Cassius Winston
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.
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