Michigan State started the upset bid over the Duke Blue Devils by making their first four threes. Unfortunately for the Spartans, they didn’t make much after that.
The Blue Devils, after trailing by eight early, stormed past the Spartans en route to an 11-point half time lead and an 81-61 win, advancing to the Finals to meet the winner of Kentucky and Wisconsin.
Duke received 19 points from Justise Winslow, 18 from Jahlil Okafor and 17 points from senior Quinn Cook.
The Blue Devils only made two three pointers, but battled the Spartans inside and at the free throw line. Duke finished 27-37 from the line, while Michigan State was just 10-16.
It is the ninth championship game for coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Michigan State’s season ends after reaching the Final Four as the No. 7 seed. It’s considered one of Tom Izzo’s best coaching efforts, as the talent on this Spartan team isn’t as high as previous seasons.
Denzel Valentine led all scorers with 22 points, including five three-pointers. Travis Trice added 16, and Branden Dawson finished with 12. Only two other Spartans made a field goal.
This is Duke’s first appearance in the Final since 2010, when Duke beat Butler at Lucas Oil Stadium. That’s where this game was played and where Duke will play on Monday.