Michigan St. Spartans vs. Long Island Blackbirds
The Michigan State Spartans and the Long Island Blackbirds face off in Columbus on Friday for a first round NCAA Tournament game in the West Regional. The Spartans are -20 point favorites over the Blackbirds with an over/under point total set at 154.
The Michigan State Spartans played the toughest schedule in the nation and while Tom Izzo’s team entered the season unranked they find themselves a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. MSU is 13-2 in out of conference games, 3-2 in neutral site games, 9-5 against ranked teams, and they played the number one ranked schedule in the nation. Draymond Green averages 16.1 points and 10.4 rebounds, Keith Appling averages 11.3 points, and Brandon Wood averages 8.6points. As a team the Spartans are averaging 72.1 points, 15.4 assists, and they are shooting 47.7 percent while defensively they are allowing 59.1 points and their opponents shoot just 37.8 percent. Michigan State doesn’t do anything fancy, they just play defense and pound the boards for rebounds which is a formula that has been effective since the game was invented.
The LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds make the NCAA Tournament for the first time as Jim Ferry’s team represents the NEC. LIU is 9-6 in out of conference games, 3-0 in neutral site games, this is their first game this year against a ranked team, and they played the 273rd ranked schedule in the country. Julian Boyd averages 17.4 points and 9.5 rebounds, Jamal Olasewere is averaging 16.8 points and 7.5 rebounds, and C.J. Garner is averaging 12.5 points. As a team the Blackbirds are averaging 81.9 points and they are shooting 47.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 77.3 points and their opponents are shooting 44.5 percent. LIU will be happy to just be there but they will be a whole lot happier if they are competitive or even happier if they are the first 16 seed to knock off a one seed.
Michigan State is 4-0 against the spread in their last four neutral site games, 7-2 against the spread following a win, and 20-8 against the spread in their last 28 games overall. Long Island is 4-0 against the spread in their last four games overall, 5-2 against the spread following a win, and 4-0 against the spread in their last four neutral site games.
The total is set at 154 and as high as that is I still have this going well over.