Duke, a week removed from its most embarrassing home loss in school history, the defeat as 28-point favorites to Stephen F. Austin, goes into East Lansing, Michigan, for the first time in 16 years and wipes the floor clean with Sparty. The final: 87-75, Blue Devils. A 12-point win that felt double that margin.
What was promoted as the biggest game of the first week of December got some wet-blanket treatment with Duke and MSU losing the previous week. And then this puppy looked over by halftime and was for sure over with 14 minutes to go. On the night Michigan State honored Draymond Green at halftime by rising his No. 23 to the Breslin Center rafters, the Spartans put forth an effort not identifiable with Green’s college career.
And hundreds of fans left their seats before the game even got to the under-4:00 timeout.
The 11th-ranked Spartans are now 5-3, making their first eight games one of the poorest in college hoops history for a preseason No. 1 team. Duke is 8-1 and just acquired a win to balm away much of the sting of the SFA loss.