TALE OF THE TAPE

NCAA Tournament Round Of 16: #2 Duke Vs. #3 Michigan State

#2 Duke
#3 Michigan State
ACC Basketball Tournament: Maryland v Duke
Memphis v Michigan State
Coaching
Winner With four national championships, 11 Final Fours, two Olympic gold medals and a court named after him, Coach K’s legacy is as rock solid as a bomb shelter beneath the Pentagon.
Not that Tom Izzo is such a slouch. Known as one of the best prepare-for-a-game coaches, Izzo has reeled off a national title and six Final Fours of his own, and would gain the edge in nearly every coaching matchup.
Offense
Winner It’s really pretty simple. Duke scores a lot of points (sixth in the nation in points per game) and does it on 47.6 percent shooting (17th in the country). That’s because Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee are both high-volume, efficient scorers.
Quick offense is not the Spartan way, as evidenced by MSU’s low 68.2 points-per-game output, but Izzo’s crew scores key baskets when they need to and controls the paint.
Defense
The Blue Devils aren’t a poor defensive unit, but their inability to force turnovers and higher foul rate gets covered up by their explosive offense. They do, however, buckle down well at the end of games.
Winner This is where Michigan State thrives, and it’s what makes this game so salivating. Expect Izzo to have the lanes closed off, forcing Duke to score with swift passes and effective long-range shooting.
Bench Depth
Coach K has gone to junior Tyler Thornton the most, and Thornton has responded by shooting long balls at a decent clip. In the tournament, though, expect Duke’s starters to shoulder the load.
Winner Freshman guard Denzel Valentine has only matured throughout the year, providing a key offensive boost several minutes in. Travis Trice can also be counted on for a critical three-point make.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

ACC Basketball Tournament: Maryland v Duke Memphis v Michigan State

This is the most compelling matchup of the Sweet 16, where the winner has a great chance of winning the whole thing. With the way the Big Ten has dominated, very slight nod to Michigan State.
-Adam Spunberg, College Basketball Contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Arizona Cardinals At San Francisco 49ers

    It’s a good thing the Cardinals have their playoff berth locked up, because the offense has lost its drive after losing quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton to injuries.

  2. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Oakland Raiders At Denver Broncos

    The Raiders have certainly shown some life in the second half of the season, and while it most likely won’t be enough to help Tony Sparano shed the interim label and become the full-time head coach, he does deserve credit for not letting this team give up.

  3. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images) (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: St. Louis Rams At Seattle Seahawks

    The Rams offense functioned at a much higher level in their Week 16 loss to the Giants with Shaun Hill at quarterback, and he is coming off a confidence-boosting 24-of-32 game for 290 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35,093 other followers