No. 8 Michigan State Edges No. 6 Duke in State Farm Champions Classic


Despite trailing by 10 early in the game, No. 8 Michigan State fought back to a 75-69 victory over No. 6 Duke, thanks to Rocket Watts's 20 points and Julius Marble's career-high 12 points.

The Spartans bounced back from the early deficit and closed the first half with a 13-4 surge, going into halftime with a 37-33 lead. They maintained the lead in the second half, leading by as many as 16, with their aggressive defense and consistent rebounding.

The Blue Devils rallied late, closing the gap to within five in the final minute. They led 13-3 in the beginning before struggling to make shots or get stops. By the end of the game, Duke shot 32% from the field and allowed five Spartans to score in double figures.

Duke also missed 14 of its first 15 three-pointers. 

Duke's Matthew Hurt had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and freshman Jalen Johnson went 4-of-11 for 11 points.

“I thought overall we were really competitive tonight—we played hard, for five of these kids that’s their first big-time game," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I’m proud of my team, but we’ve got a lot of learning to do—congrats to MSU as well.”

Tuesday night's loss was the 10th home non-conference loss for Duke under Krzyzewski, and it now has a 298-10 record in those games. 

This marked Michigan State's first win at Cameron Indoor, and head coach Tom Izzo improved his coaching record to 3-12 against the Blue Devils. 

"I know one thing," Izzo said, "I’m not gonna put an asterisk [next to this].”

Here's how Twitter reacted to the game.