Basketball in Michigan State was considered to be one of the best programs in the nation. Under coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans have made it to the Final Four eight times and won a national championship. However, throughout his coaching career, there was one team that haunted him—the Blue Devils. Against Duke, Michigan State had an atrocious 1-11 record, including seven consecutive victories and an 81-61 defeat in the 2015 national championships.

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All that changed Sunday when the Spartans finally got the monkey off their back and beat Duke 68-67 in an Elite Eight match. The second-seeded Spartans advance to the Final Four which will be played this coming Saturday. Yahoo Sports reveals that this will be the first Final Four for Michigan since 2015 and the eighth under Izzo’s watch,

Disaster finally struck the Blue Devils

The top-seeded Duke Blue Devils had flirted with disaster several times during the tournament.

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They won by just one possession over UCF in the second round and Virginia in the Sweet 16. Against the Spartans, however, they got burned by fire. Down by one, RJ Barrett had a chance to tie the game at 68 with six seconds left in the game. However, he split his charities and Duke was held scoreless from there.

CBS Sports revealed that Cassius Winston was the biggest player that night. The Big Ten Player of the Year scored 20 points and dished out 10 assists.

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With 5.2 seconds left, Winston then dribbled out the waning seconds to the delight of the euphoric crowd. The Blue Devils only have themselves to blame. Throughout the night, they showed poor decision-making, poor shot selection, and costly turnovers. Duke had 17 miscues which the Spartans converted to 24 points.

Michigan State Spartans, who had a nine-game winning streak, will meet Texas Tech in the Final Four in Minneapolis. It will be their 10th Final Four appearance and the 8th under Izzo.

What’s next for the Blue Devils?

The Blue Devils still hold an 11-2 record against the Spartans. They won the last seven meetings with the Spartans. But all that goes for naught with the loss to Michigan State. The Spartans led for 22 minutes but hit the big shots when it was needed. Duke had four potential first-round picks in its roster compared to zero for the Spartans. All that does not matter now.

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Zion Williamson had 24 points and 14 rebounds while Barrett finished the game with 21 points and six boards. With the Blue Devils already out, Zion Williamson is setting his sights on the NBA.

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