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Lakers’ Magic Johnson says ‘college basketball won’ after Michigan State’s win over Duke

Magic Johnson, Michigan State, Duke

For Los Angeles Lakers president and Michigan State product Magic Johnson, ‘college basketball’ won after his alma mater’s upset victory over Duke.

Michigan — a team filled with junior and senior players who are not expected to head on to the NBA after their college career — beat a star-studded Duke team filled with five-star NBA recruits, 68-67 at Capital One Arena on Sunday. Per Tom Schad of USA Sports Today, Johnson pointed out that experience — the fact that Michigan players have been around for quite some time — was the key to victory.

“College basketball won today,” Los Angeles Lakers president and Michigan State product Magic Johnson told a small group of reporters on the court Sunday night.

“You see the team that’s been together for a long time win, and maybe that will help guys to say ‘well, I’m OK to stay, maybe I’ve got to work on my talent and my game.’ Because Michigan State (has) got a team full of those guys, and they did OK today.”

While the game was close, it was the collective experience of Michigan State which powered them against the Mike Krzyzewski-led team. Not only were they led by a legendary coach, but they also house top-prospects  R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Zion Williamson.

Michigan, led by Tom Izzo, fielded two seniors, one junior, one sophomore, and one freshman. Johnson shared that Izzo has opted to develop players over time rather than get a top-high school prospect. And against Duke, Izzo’s tactics certainly worked its magic.