|#5||Michigan St. (33-4) ||70|
|#1||Duke (33-5) ||73|
The atmosphere inside Lucas Oil Stadium was electric. Two heavyweights in college basketball coaching met at center court to exchange pleasantries before the battle ensued.
Coach Krzyzewski and Duke were the favorites heading into the game, but Michigan State has been here before. In fact, many of those who played in the 2009 title game against North Carolina were back on the court again with another crack at cutting down the nets.
When you look at the final box score of this game, the numbers are pretty even across the board. Neither Duke nor Michigan State shot the lights out, Duke did not live by the three, Michigan State did not die by it, and free throw attempts, rebounding and assists were even. These two teams were so evenly matched the game came down to, as it so often does, the final seconds.
Duke was up by six points with a minute to go in the game and things were looking good for Krzyzewskiville. Then Durrell Summers sank a three pointer from the left wing and just like that, the Spartans had second life. Down three, Michigan State stepped it up on defense and intercepted a pass from Mason Plumlee. On the other end, the turnover resulted in two more points for the Spartans as Derrick Nix rocked the rim with a thunderous dunk to cut the deficit to a single point.
However with only 35 seconds remaining and the Devils with the ability to run out the clock, the Spartans were forced to foul. Miles Plumlee calmly sank two free throws to extend Duke’s lead back to four.
Thirty seconds ticked away in slow motion as Michigan State fought away defeat once again with a Summers’ jumper. One more un-intentional, intentional foul by MSU and Duke’s Nolan Smith headed back to the charity stripe. The hero of the Baylor game sank his two tosses. Down three with little time remaining, Michigan State was forced to go for the tie. Austin Thorton’s three clanked off the rim. Draymond Green ripped down the board, dribbled out to three point line and heaved up a desperation trey for the tie. Not tonight. The Duke Blue Devils hold off a pesky Michigan State team for the 73-70 National Championship win.
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