Anthony Dirrell taking a timeout to support Spartans in Final Four

Anthony Dirrell is prepping for an April 24 defense of his 168-pound world championship, but that doesn’t mean he can’t take a few hours off Saturday to watch Michigan State play in the Final Four.

Anthony Dirrell said he’ll be rooting on his Spartans from afar as they play Duke in an NCAA basketball tournament national semifinal game in Indianapolis, even if the Flint, Michigan, native begrudgingly admits he didn’t have them going this far in his bracket.

“I really am surprised by Michigan State, because I didn’t have them going to the Final Four,” said Dirrell, who is in the midst of training in Boca Raton, Florida, for his upcoming fight in Chicago against Badou Jack. View details of Dirrell vs Jack.

“Tom Izzo is a helluva coach. I’m just happy to be a part of this and to be able to witness this. I’m really excited for those guys. … I think they can beat Duke; I really think that they can. The way they’ve been playing, it’s going to be tough to beat them.”

Dirrell picked Kentucky to win it all at the start of the tournament, but he thinks the undefeated Wildcats are going to struggle against Wisconsin in Saturday’s other national semifinal.

“I don’t think Kentucky’s going to get past Wisconsin,” Dirrell said. “I did have Kentucky, but [the Badgers] are playing with a different attitude. They’re playing so much better now.”

Below is a look at Dirrell's bracket:

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