The Michigan State Spartans and Virginia Cavaliers meet up for the second straight post season today in NCAA Tournament action. The game is scheduled for a 12:10 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the NCAA Tournament Betting Odds for the game have the Cavaliers favored by a couple of buckets to get the win.
Virginia and Michigan State met last season in Sweet 16 play, Michigan State knocking out the Cavaliers despite them being a No. 1 seed. The Spartans were a seven last year and eventually lost to Connecticut in the Elite Eight.
The Cavaliers would like to return the favor of falling to Michigan State last season, this year finding themselves on the two-line for the East Region. Both Sparty and Virginia have to feel their chances of getting to a Final Four increased with the loss to top-seeded Villanova last night, so expect a great game here between two well-coached teams. The Cavaliers already have an impressive 30 wins on the season and picking up 31 would put them into the Sweet 16 to take on either Dayton or Oklahoma.
Both Michigan State and Virginia got pushed a bit in their opening games, but both eventually played well enough down the stretch to seal victories.
The Spartans expect to continue their physical play today against Virginia. With Branden Dawson leading the way, Michigan State will be the more physical team, on paper, down on the blocks. Virginia has length and athleticism at several positions, but Michigan State has the size up front. Last year Dawson finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Hoovs, the Cavaliers will need to keep him slowed down. Virginia still sports the top scoring defense in the country, allowing just 51.2 points per game, and playing defense well against a Tom Izzo team is important.
Justin Anderson came off the bench in Virginia’s opening win, scoring 15 points. Malcolm Brogdown had 22 points in that win over Belmont, including hitting four triples from deep. The Virginia offense will be the key to today’s game, with both teams having solid defense.
Free Pick: Virginia 65, Michigan State 60
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