Michigan St. Spartans vs. Louisville Cardinals
The Michigan State Spartans and the Louisville Cardinals battle it out on Thursday Night in the Sweet 16 with the winner going to the Elite Eight. The Spartans are -4.5 point favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under point total set at 124.5.
The Michigan State Spartans were given the final number one seed in the NCAA Tournament this year but thus far Tom Izzo’s team has looking deserving of that ranking. MSU took care of business in their opening round game against LIU-Brooklyn and then held off a game St. Louis team in round two. Against St. Louis Keith Appling had 19 points, Draymond Green had 16 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists, Brandon Wood had 10 points, and Derrick Nix added 10 points as well. As a team the Spartans shot 54.3 percent from the floor, 40 percent from beyond the three point arc, and they shot 64.7 percent from the free throw line. Over the course of the season Michigan State is 5-2 in neutral site games, 8-5 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the number one ranked schedule in the country. Tom Izzo puts a lot of teams in the Final Four and while this team started the season unranked they are just two wins away from making it to New Orleans.
The Louisville Cardinals weren’t the most consistent team over the course of the regular season but Rick Pitino has his team peaking at just the right time. Louisville beat Davidson in their first round game and then beat a very good New Mexico team in the second round to advance to this spot. Against New Mexico Russ Smith had 17 points, Kyle Kuric had 10 points, Chane Behanan had 10 points, and Gorgui Dieng had 10 rebounds. As a team Louisville shot 45.8 percent from the floor, 46.7 percent from beyond the three point arc, and 66.7 percent from the free throw line. Over the course of the year the Cardinals are 6-0 in neutral site games, 3-5 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the seventh ranked schedule overall in the country. The winner of the Big East Tournament has made the Final Four for the past several years and Louisville was this year’s champ.
Michigan State is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, 8-3 against the spread following a win, and 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 games as a neutral site favorite. Louisville is 6-0 against the spread in their last six games overall, 0-6 against the spread in their last six games against Big Ten teams, and 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 games as an underdog.
I like the over 124.5 here. I expect to pass this number with a few minutes still left on the clock.