Grayson Allen steps up, Marvin Bagley goes down as Duke beats Michigan State
CHICAGO — It was billed as a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that would, among other things, provide college basketball fans with an opportunity to see Marvin Bagley on a big stage for the first time. Only problem? Not even 10 minutes post tipoff, Bagley could not see. So Bagley could not play. Which left Duke without its most talented player for the final 30-pus minutes.
Impressively, the Blue Devils won anyway.
Grayson Allen scored a game-high 37 points and led the top-ranked Blue Devils to an 88-81 victory against a Michigan State team that fell behind by double-digits early, rallied late but could not close in the opening game of the Champions Classic here at the United Center. The result dropped Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo’s record to 1-11 against Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski.
As for Bagley, the possible No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft sat on the bench the entire second half with a swollen eye that was the result of a teammate accidentally poking him while attempting to grab a rebound. The 6-foot-11 forward’s availability going forward is unclear. Duke’s next game is Friday against Southern. The Blue Devils will next week play in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, where they could ultimately face No. 8 Florida or No. 17 Gonzaga.
Sophomore Nick Ward and freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. led Michigan State with 19 points each. But the Blue Devils’ 15-6 run over the final 3:59 allowed Duke to prevail. And now the favorites to win the national title will wait to see when Bagley can rejoin him.