Duke better bring its lunch pails and hard hats to Friday nights matchup with Michigan State in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA East Regional in Washington, D.C.
In a town where lobbying, negotiating and posturing are at a premium, this battle may be better suited for the rust belt, or perhaps a back alley in some northeastern city.
Third-seed Michigan State (27-8) thrives on mucking things upwith a twist of finesse, of course. Tom Izzo hasnt become one of the best coaches of this era by simply having his team bang bodies in the paint and slow opponents on the perimeter, though that is sometimes the byproduct of the Spartans' play.
The No. 2 seed, Duke (29-5) will have to match that intensity to a degree to navigate its way to the Elite Eight, as treacherous a proposition as that may be.
Weve played them a couple of times since Ive been here, and it will be a battle, Duke senior center Mason Plumlee said, smiling.
Duke beat Michigan State 84-79 early in Plumlees sophomore season a...