Wonderful Ride Comes To An End

All season long there was no real margin of error for head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils. If the opponent was able to shut down the big trio of Shelden Williams, J.J. Redick, and Daniel Ewing, Duke didn't really have any answers. That proved true on Friday night as Duke's wonderful season came to an end as Michigan State played physical and aggressive ball to upset Duke 78-68.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo finally has his victory over Duke, as junior big man Paul Davis scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds while Alan Anderson added 17 as Michigan State took control early in the second half and maintained that momentum to pull away down the stretch.

The loss ends Duke's season at 27-6, and subsequently ends senior Daniel Ewing's career. Ewing finished that game with 18 points and five rebounds, while ending his career with a 115-23 record, best in his class.

Still, the senior's effort wasn't enough as Duke squandered a six point advantage midway through the first half as the Spartans used a 6-0 spurt to tie the game at 32 at intermission.

After taking a four point lead after halftime, Duke watched as the Spartans began to find their range, hitting for an 8-0 run to take a 40-36 lead that forced Krzyzewski to burn a timeout, and continued to fire up Michigan State.

Anderson knocked down another pair of jumpers while Kelvin Torbert hit a three as Duke quickly found themselves down by nine, but quickly began to chip away at the lead.

After a Redick steal, the junior pulled up for a transition three pointer which rimmed out, but Shelden Williams appeared to pull Duke within two after slamming home the follow up jam. However, the ball popped out after going down and the basket, which was originally allowed, was waived off.

The Blue Devils would pull within three as Ewing connected from the perimeter to push the score to 66-63, but Williams was whistled for a questionable foul on a loose ball in which Shannon Brown appeared to climb his back while going for the board. It was the fifth on the Duke junior, ending his night early and opening up the paint for MSU and Davis.

The Spartans began to operate exclusively in the paint from that point forward and cemented Duke's fate when Davis converted a three point play with just over two minutes remaining.

Barring any NBA defections, Duke will return all but one starter next season while adding the nation's top recruiting class.

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