Duke Stomps Michigan State to Reach National Title Game

by: Perry Green AFRO Sports Editor
/ (AP Photo/David J. Phillip and Darron Cummings) /
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NCAA Michigan St Duke Final Four Basketball
Duke’s Quinn Cook (2) goes up for a shot against Michigan State’s Gavin Schilling (34) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Duke freshman forward Justice Winslow scored a team-high 19 points with nine rebounds to help the No. 1 seed Blue Devils cruise to a 81-61 win over the No. 7 seed Michigan  State Spartans in the Final Four round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on April 4 in Indianapolis.

NCAA Michigan St Duke Final Four Basketball
Duke’s Jahlil Okafor (15) dunks the ball ahead of Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Duke (29-4) advanced to its 11th tournament championship game in school history. The Blue Devils will face the winner of a match up between fellow No. 1 seeds Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Duke’s blowout victory came despite a slow start to the game. Michigan State (23-11) was the first to reach double-digit points and led by as many as seven points during the first eight minutes of action. But Winslow and freshman center Jahlil Okafur both got hot from the field and brought Duke roaring back. Once the Blue Devils took the lead near the midway point of the first half they never looked back, piling on points as the game progressed.

Okafur followed Winslow’s 19 points with 18 points and six rebounds; senior guard Quinn Cook added 17 points for Duke.

Junior guard Denzel Valentine scored a game-high 22 points with 11 rebounds for Michigan State; senior guard Travis Trice scored 16 for the Spartans.

Duke will vie for its fourth national title in school history, and its second since 2010.

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