Michigan St. Spartans vs. Virginia Cavaliers
The Michigan State Spartans and the Virginia Cavaliers face off on Friday at Madison Square Garden in a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 matchup with the winner going to the Elite Eight and being a win away from the Final Four. The Spartans are -1.5 point favorites over the Cavaliers with an over/under point total set at 126.
The Michigan State Spartans were never 100 percent healthy until the end of the season but since then they have own their last five games. Michigan State won the Big Ten Tournament then started their NCAA Tournament knocking off Delaware by 15 points and then beating Harvard by seven in a game that was never really in doubt. Adreian Payne has been the leader of the Spartans doing it all averaging 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Gary Harris is averaging 16.9 points, Keith Appling is averaging 11.7 points, and Branden Dawson is averaging 11 points and 8.3 rebounds. Michigan State is averaging 76.5 points and they are shooting 47.7 percent from the floor while defensively they are allowing 65.9 points and their opponents are shooting 40 percent. Every player that has played for Tom Izzo and has stayed four years has made at least one Final Four and this is this group’s last opportunity to continue that trend.
The Virginia Cavaliers are the top seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament and the ACC Conference and Tournament Champions. Virginia opened their NCAA Tournament with a first round win over Coastal Carolina and then thrashed Memphis by 18 points in their second round game. Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game to lead the Cavaliers. Joe Harris is averaging 11.8 points, Anthony Gill is averaging 8.8 points, and Justin Anderson is averaging 8.0 points. Virginia is averaging 66.4 points and they are shooting 45.7 percent while defensively they are allowing 55.5 points and their opponents are shooting 38.6 percent. Virginia was considered the last of the number one seeds but they haven’t done anything either before or during March Madness to show they aren’t worthy.
Virginia is 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six neutral site games, 16-5-2 against the spread in their last 23 games, and 15-4-2 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Michigan State is 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games, 4-1-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 3-1-1 against the spread in their last five neutral site games.
The total in this one is set at 126.5 and I don’t see the score getting that high so my pick is the under.