Duke gunning for another statement win, revenge against Michigan State

MSU Basketball faces Duke Three Things To Watch	
				Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

MSU Basketball faces Duke Three Things To Watch Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams perviously held the No. 1 ranking this season, but an opening night loss for Michigan State coupled with a loss a few weeks later to unranked Virginia Tech dropped the Spartans down ten spots in the poll. In their last game, Duke defeated Winthrop by the core of 83-70. Tre Jones led Duke in assists with 6 on the night while playing 37 minutes in the game.

That hot streak will continue against Duke as Michigan State will not only surpass 40 percent for the third consecutive game, but actually 50 percent.

Each also has a veteran point guard dishing out at least six assists per game, but Michigan State's Cassius Winston should have the upper hand in this match.

OFFENSIVE THREAT: Zavier Simpson has either made or assisted on 49 percent of all MI field goals over the last three games. We now have a better feel for most teams thanks to holiday tournaments, and the computers, as I'll illustrate throughout these picks, haven't quite caught on yet.

Michigan State will utilize the likes of Cassius Winston, who will make four, Gabe Brown and Rocket Watts on its way to a strong shooting nice from the perimeter.

Winston also has been efficient with the ball as the team is sixth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio while Duke is 118th. Xavier Tillman leads Michigan State in rebounds per game and has pulled in an average of 10 per game. Michigan State has scored 80.9 points per game while allowing 64.7 points per game.

On the first night of the season, Duke was able to defeat then No. 3 Kansas but after its championship in the 2K Empire Classic, the Blue Devils have looked anything but impressive. Both have suffered losses as the No. 1 team in the country. Duke wins 75-73 and beats the spread.

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