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Roundball recap: Breaking down the loss vs. Duke

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Welp, this won’t be the undefeated season

NCAA Basketball: Champions Classic-Duke vs Michigan State Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we all saw it. Let’s get right into it.

-You will not find the ra-ra “we played a No. 1 team so close!” or “we showed we can hang with them!” post here. I don’t write a blog for a mid-major program – I write one for the No. 2 team in the nation that has national title hopes.

That’s an alarming performance that showed how every flaw this team has can bite them in the end. An end that would come too soon.

Careless turnovers — 17 on the game.

Spotty shooting, at best, from the shooting guards — 1-8 combined 3-point shooting from Josh Langford and Matt McQuaid.

Inability to rebound — allowing 25(!!!) offensive rebounds to Duke. I mean, wow.

Talent can overcome that to beat a lot of teams, but not the kind of teams they would have to go through to win titles.

We all know there’s a lot of season left and this team will only get better. But that should have and could have been a win, especially with Marvin Bagley playing for roughly 12 seconds. The Spartans had their chance to make a statement immediately this season and didn’t do it.

All well, come March this game will likely not mean anything.

NCAA Basketball: Champions Classic-Duke vs Michigan State Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

-This team looked lost against the zone early on, letting a five and a half minute scoreless streak turn into a 21-12 Duke lead. But eventually looked kind of competent in the second half. And it really didn’t help that Matt McQuaid or Josh Langford couldn’t hit shots. Or that it kept Miles Bridges timid in the first half before he exploded in the second half.

That’s a weakness given away very early in the season, but it’s also nice to know fixes have to be made this early. When you have a Hall of Fame coach, you can afford to show what bothers you early.

-Whatever that check cleared for should give the officiating crew all sleek new sport cars for the holiday season. You already know what I’m talking about – Ben Carter getting blatantly punched by another punk Duke player that fits perfectly into their program.

Now did the refs cost MSU the game? Of course not. But it’s shocking to know that in order to be ejected from a college basketball game you need to commit murder in the third degree, apparently. I’m allowed to get upset over that, right?

-I wonder how Jay Bilas is going to celebrate that big win tonight.

NCAA Basketball: Champions Classic-Duke vs Michigan State Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

-OK, I’m sorry. WOOOOO let’s get some positive talk in here. How about that block party? 12 blocks on the game is remarkable, and man it’s crazy seeing the length this team has especially considering what the roster looked like last year.

-Tum Tum Nairn looked like the better point guard option against the zone, taking care of the ball with zero turnovers and six assists. He also seemed aggressive at times, which was nice to see.

Cassius Winston? Not his best with five turnovers and shaky shooting. Also not his worst though with 11 assists. He looked like a wizard against North Florida, but I think he now realizes Duke isn’t North Florida.

-Jaren Jackson is a star, man. So much so that CJ McCollum was tweeting about him during the game. He had 19 points — 6 of them coming with quick threes in that first half run. He showed how much of a luxury he is on defense with his three blocks and team-high seven rebounds.

Now let’s move BACK to football season for this Saturday’s game against Maryland. Go Green.