Forget About November
All the way back in November, Michigan State and Duke matched up in Indianapolis. The 81-71 loss left Izzo with more positives than negatives about his team as he felt his squad was a little short handed in its guard play. Izzo hoped for a rematch against the Blue Devils and gets his wish when the two teams tip off just after six on Saturday night.
Can Michigan State neutralize Jahil Okafor?
The strength of the Blue Devils has been 6-foot-11 center Jahlil Okafor. However, the Blue Devils survived and advanced despite the fact Okafor was slowed during the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight as he failed to score in double-digits. The Spartans must keep the star freshman in check if they hope to reach Monday’s final.
Trice Continue To Live The Dream
The brightest light for the Spartans during the tournament has been senior guard Travis Trice. The Ohio native has scored a total of 79 points so far in the tournament and has been the straw that has stirred the Spartans drink. If Trice can continue providing leadership and his steady hand against Duke, MSU increases their chance of advancing.
Stay Out Of Foul Trouble
The Spartans must stay out of foul trouble if they hope to stay in this game. In the first match-up, Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine picked up too many fouls in the first half. If that happens again Duke will be able to use their length to a great advantage.
Let Izzo Lead The Way
The Spartans were not supposed to be playing this late in the season having lost 11 games this season. Tom Izzo got his team to peak in the tournament and any chance of the Spartans reaching Monday’s night rest on the direction Izzo sends his team. The team must follow the direction and execute whatever game plan the Spartans longtime coach provides with each player taking the floor not trying to be the star of the night.