Michigan State Spartans
(5-1, 2-4 ATS)
Duke Blue Devils
(6-0, 4-1 ATS)
It’s a shame that the Michigan State Spartans were knocked off eight days ago by the Connecticut Huskies. If not for that defeat, this Wednesday night’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge battle against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium would be a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the land. There is definitely going to be a Final Four feeling in the air in the NCAA basketball betting showdown, and you won’t want to miss it!
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The Spartans are a well tested team this year, having played against the Huskies, the Washington Huskies, and South Carolina Gamecocks, all of which are probably NCAA Tournament teams this year. However, they have obviously never faced a challenge like this one. So far on the campaign, it is clear that the G Kalin Lucas, G Durrell Summers, and F Draymond Green are going to be carrying the load. Green has been particularly impressive this year, as he is cramming the stat sheet like virtually no one else in the nation. He is averaging 14.0 points, 9.5 boards, 4.2 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game, and he is probably selling popcorn during timeouts in the stands as well. Lucas is the team’s leading scorer at 17.5 points per game, and he already has two games this year in which he has scored at least 28. Summers in the most consistent of the bunch, as the veteran has scored at least a dozen points in all but one of his games. This is a huge battle for HC Tom Izzo’s club, as it is a great barometer for how well this team will play for the rest of the season.
The Dookies are rightfully the No. 1 team in the land, and as far as we’re concerned, until they get beaten, they are worthy defending champions. Teams are just getting mowed down by the Blue Devils left and right on the campaign, as only one team, the Marquette Golden Eagles, have stuck within two touchdowns, and that includes the Kansas State Wildcats. Duke is pouring 91.3 points per game on the board, good enough to come into Wednesday ranked No. 5 in the land. Whereas last season, this team almost exclusively ran around G Nolan Smith, G Jon Scheyer, and F Kyle Singler, there is a lot more balance thus far in 2010-11. Five different players are averaging double digits in scoring, and though that probably won’t keep up through the rugged ACC schedule, at least Coach K knows that he has more scoring options to replace the departed Scheyer. Smith and Singler are both still leading the team in scoring with 16.8 and 16.2 points per game respectively. Freshman sensation Kyrie Irving is already averaging 14.5 points and 5.8 assists per game, and it is clear that he is well on his way to special things in Cameron.
You just get the feeling that the oddsmakers have stuck some huge number up on the board to try to get you to fall into the Michigan State trap. We know that Izzo’s men will be a contender for the National Championship when it is said and done, but this one is just far too difficult. The Blue Devils are too hot to stop right now, and they’ll win this game by a very, very comfortable margin.
College Basketball Free Pick: Duke Blue Devils -12