Michigan State Basketball: 5 Reasons Spartans Will Beat Duke

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Mar 29, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo talks to Michigan State Spartans guard Denzel Valentine (45) during the second half against the Louisville Cardinals in the finals of the east regional of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

3. No Dumb Turnovers

We see it quite often, the Spartans make a big defensive play and then turn it right back over to the other team. In fact, dumb turnovers cost Michigan State a title in the Big Ten Tournament. Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser saved a ball from going out of bounds — even though he stepped on the line — and Valentine caught the ball before passing it right back to the Badgers for the tying score with seconds left in regulation.

Yes, dumb turnovers plagued this Michigan State team all season long. You know it, I know it, Izzo knows it and even these players know it. Smart outlet passes, crisp chest passes to teammates and no lazy tosses across the court. Those are three things Michigan State needs to work on.

In the Louisville game, Cardinals’ point guard Terry Rozier swiped a couple lazy passes and took them to the basket for easy layups, either putting the Cardinals back in the game or extending the lead.

Michigan State needs to limit the sloppy play and keep the ball away from a scrappy Tyus Jones on the perimeter to avoid easy run-outs like Rozier prompted. As long as Valentine doesn’t get too fancy with the ball, he often likes the showy no-look passes, the Spartans will be OK in the turnover category.

Let Tum Tum Nairn handle the ball, keep it in Trice’s hands, too, and let Valentine find open players and the Spartans will be just fine.

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