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. Andrew Harrison #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons, Getty Images) Sam Dekker #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: #1 Wisconsin Vs. #1 Kentucky

    The Final Four features very few surprises this season, with three number one seeds making it into the final weekend of the 2015 NCAA College Basketball Tournament.

  2. Jahlil Okafor #15 and Justise Winslow #12 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo Credit: Bob Leverone, Getty Images) Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: #1 Duke Vs. #7 Michigan State

    In 1999, Tom Izzo took the Michigan State Spartans to the Final Four for the first time on his watch, and they met Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils.

  3. Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo Credit: Mike McGinnis, Getty Images) Kaleb Tarczewski #35 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Elite Eight Tale: #1 Wisconsin Vs. #2 Arizona

    It is rematch time. Last year, the Wisconsin Badgers and Arizona Wildcats met in the Elite Eight and Wisconsin walked away with a 64-63 overtime win.

See All Tales of the Tape