FanPost

NCAA Sweet 16 MSU vs Duke: An Inside Look at the Best Match-Ups

Patrick McDermott

(Bump: Good breakdown -- Chris)

An exclusive look inside the best game of the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen Round between the Spartans of Michigan State and the Duke Blue Devils.

In their last meeting, the Blue Devils came out victorious in a 74-69 win, this year, both teams are different, however, despite the changes one thing remains the same: the hunger for that elusive national crown.


Here are the best Match-Ups:


MATCH-UP #1

KEITH APPLING VS QUINN COOK

Appling Stats: 13.3ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.5rpg, 1.3spg

Cook Stats: 12.0ppg, 5.4apg, 3.9rpg, 1.5spg

Intriguing match-up at the point guard position with two feisty guards who both love a bit of trash-talk. While Cook is clearly the more outspoken out of the two, don’t expect Appling to be intimidated by the high-energy sophomore guard.

Keys to this Match-Up:

#1: Keith Appling needs to use his experience and last year’s loss to Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen as extra fuel and motivation.

#2: Take away options from Quinn Cook and make him make shots/plays. Better him shooting than Curry /Kelly.

MATCH-UP #2

GARY HARRIS VS RASHEED SULAIMON

Harris Stats: 13.1ppg, 1.3apg, 2.5rpg, 1.3spg, 42% 3P
Sulaimon Stats: 11.7ppg, 1.9apg, 3.4rpg, 39% 3P

Great match-up with two electric freshman guards.

In their first year, they both have turned out to be great additions to their respective programs and will arguably be in discussions for POY awards in the foreseeable future.

Keys to this Match-Up:

#1: Force Sulaimon into making low percentage shots.

#2: Sulaimon is a slasher and loves driving to the basket. Help defense by Payne/Nix/Dawson if Harris beaten off the dribble.

MATCH-UP #3

BRANDEN DAWSON vs SETH CURRY

Dawson Stats: 9.1ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.6spg

Curry Stats: 17.3ppg, 1.6apg, 2.6rpg, 43% 3P

Key Match-up for State. Duke’s best offensive player against Michigan State’s defensive specialist.

Regardless of who’s guarding him, Curry is going to make his shots. Dawson's size, athleticism, and strength should cause him to adjust a little.

Keys to this Match-Up:

#1: Try to contain him, not stop him.

#2: Make him give it up.

#3: Make him a slasher.

#4: Avoid foul trouble.

MATCH-UP #4

ADREIAN PAYNE VS RYAN KELLY

Payne Stats: 10.4ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.4bpg

Kelly Stats: 13.3ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.7apg, 46% 3P

Very different players who both make their living on what defenses give them.

Both forwards have the ability to step out of the paint and make plays for their team. Kelly is without doubt the more capable stretch-4, however Payne’s length and physicality have proven to be key factors in Coach Izzo’s defense.

Keys to this Match-Up:

#1: Make Kelly put ball on the floor.

#2: If Nix guarding Kelly don’t overhelp leaving shooters open.

MATCH-UP #5

DERRICK NIX vs MASON PLUMLEE

Nix Stats: 10.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg

Plumlee Stats: 17.2ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg, 1.5bpg

Can’t really put a finger on this one. Too unpredictable to make any substantial declarations, but here’s few notes…

Plumlee: 6’10" with unbelievable athleticism who knows his way around the rim and isn’t afraid of contact.

Nix: 6’9" undersized but bulky center who has come a long way from his first days as a Spartan. As his entire game revolves on contact, his imposing strength makes it extremely difficult for opposing bigs to succeed against him.

Keys to this Match-Up:

#1: Keep Plumlee out of the paint.

#2: Find him after every shot fired, preventing him from offensive boards.
#3: If Nix sealed under the basket, help and contest his shot.
#4: Hard fouls

OTHER INTERESTING MATCH-UPS:

ADREIAN PAYNE VS MASON PLUMLEE

GARY HARRIS VS QUINN COOK

TYLER THORNTON VS TRAVIS TRICE

KEITH APPLING VS SETH CURRY

DENZEL VALENTINE VS SETH CURRY

Twitter @TheExpert91

This is a FanPost, written by a member of the TOC community. It does not represent the official positions of The Only Colors, Inc.--largely because we have no official positions.

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