In ESPN The Magazine's college basketball preview (aka The Loud Issue), we asked ESPN analysts Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Dick Vitale to predict the national champion. Bilas and Davis took the Michigan State Spartans, and Vitale said the Duke Blue Devils.
This tilt in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, then, is a very legitimate Final Four preview.
Of course, Sparty's loss to the Connecticut Huskies last week at the Maui Invitational took a little luster off this showdown because it won't be the No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup that many envisioned. But one loss doesn't make MSU chopped liver, and we'll all have to settle for No.1 against No. 6.