The only two schools in the Final Four who are a perfect 4-0 against the spread in the NCAA tournament will meet Saturday in Indianapolis for the second time this season as the Michigan State Spartans face the Duke Blue Devils at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The teams met in Indy at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Nov. 18 in the State Farm Champions Classic, with the Blue Devils beating the Spartans 81-71 and covering the spread as 8.5-point favorites behind 19 points from Quinn Cook and 17 from Jahlil Okafor.
Michigan State won the 2000 national championship at the RCA Dome in Indy and captured the East region by winning three games as the lower seed. The Spartans are 13-9 all-time as the lower-seeded team in tournament games under head coach Tom Izzo.
They have also won three of their four tourney games this year as favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, including their previous two against the third-seeded Oklahoma Sooners in the Sweet 16 and fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals in the Elite Eight.
Meanwhile, the Blue Devils have thrived in the role of favorite, winning 14 of their previous 15 under that scenario, including all four games in this year’s tournament. They won the South region as the top seed and eliminated the eighth-seeded San Diego State Aztecs in the Round of 32, the fifth-seeded Utah Utes in the Sweet 16 and the second-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Elite Eight en route to the Final Four.
Duke’s closest win came against Utah in a 63-57 victory as a 4.5-point favorite and the biggest blowout was an 85-56 rout of the Robert Morris Colonials as 22.5-point chalk in the Round of 64. The team’s only two losses in its previous 21 games both came against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the ACC tournament champs.
The last meeting between the teams in the NCAA tournament was in 2013, when the Blue Devils topped Michigan State 71-61 in the Sweet 16 as two-point favorites on the college basketball odds before bowing out to the eventual national champion Louisville Cardinals 85-63 as four-point underdogs in the Midwest Regional Final.
However, the Spartans went 5-1-1 ATS in the previous seven meetings. The OVER has also cashed in five of the past six meetings.