Two of college basketball’s heavy hitters meet tonight in Indianapolis.
It’s second-seeded Duke vs. third-seeded Michigan State in the Midwest Regional semifinals. The game tips at approximately 9:45 p.m. and will be televised by CBS (WFMY, Ch, 2 locally).
These two traditional superpowers have combined for 62 NCAA Tournament appearances (36 by Duke, 26 by MSU), 23 Final Fours (15-8 edge for the Devils) and six national championships (four for Duke, two for Michigan State).
Surprisingly, they’ve only clashed in the NCAA tourney three previous times — all since 1994.
Duke won 85-74 in the second round in ‘94 and prevailed 68-62 in the 1999 national semifinals. The Blue Devils wound up national runnerups both seasons.
Michigan State posted a 78-68 triumph in the 2005 Sweet 16. The Spartans fell to UNC in the national semifinals.
Perhaps it’s because all three games were so hard-fought and competitive, but I was thinking Duke and Michigan State clashed more than three times in NCAA tourney play.
I expect nothing short of another ACC-Big Ten classic this evening.
As for predicting a winner?
Forgive the cop out, but it’s way too close to call.
— Mark McKinney
ENTERPRISE SPORTS EDITOR