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Duke Pulls away from Michigan State, Advances to NCAA Final
By Mike Jasko

Duke Freshman Jahlil Okafor put subpar performances in the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen behind him, as he scored 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Meanwhile his teammate, Freshman swingman Justise Winslow continued his great play of late, putting in 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds as the Blue Devils eased by Michigan State 81-61 in the first National Semifinal Saturday in Indianapolis.

Michigan State jumped out to an early 14-6 lead after five minutes of play, but Duke quickly rallied and 3-point play play Okafor tied the game at 16 after 10 minutes of play. Moments later, an Okafor dunk put the Blue Devils in front, and they would extend their lead to 11 by halftime. 

Michigan State was unable to make the baskets necessary to get back in the game, as Duke extended the lead to 50-31 on a Grayson Allen slam at the 14:36 mark in the second half. The Spartans were able to string together a couple of baskets, cutting the deficit to 13 at one point, but that was as close as they would get to Duke in the second half.

The Blue Devils dominated the game inside the arc, making 60 percent of their 2-point field goals, while on the other end holding Michigan State to just 43 percent from 2-point range. Duke got the line 37 times in the game, making 27 of those free throws 

Michigan State's Denzel Valentine was their leading scorer with 22 points, he also grabbed 11 rebounds. Senior guard Travis Trice, who has played sensationally in this tournament, also added 16 points and 5 assists for the Spartans.

Duke moves on to the NCAA Championship Game on Monday night and will face the winner of Saturday's Wisconsin-Kentucky clash.  

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