The No. 8 Michigan State Spartans are the Big Ten Tournament’s top seed, and tomorrow they take the floor in Indianapolis for an early tip against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Read to find out why we are expecting a high scoring matchup.
Michigan State ended its
regular season with a 6-3 spread record in its last nine games, while Iowa
opened its postseason with Thursday’s 64-61 win as a two-point dog against the
Illinois Fighting Illini.
Sportsbooks opened Michigan State as an 11 point favorite for the
quarterfinal duel, making this the team’s 10th spot as double-digit
‘chalk.’ The span includes January’s
95-61 triumph for the Spartans against Iowa, with Tom Izzo’s squad connecting a
sizable 61.7 percent of its field buckets.
Lets break down this matchup and decide where we can find the most value with our NCAA Basketball betting choices.
Spartans blow lead in
Michigan State gave up a 15-point lead in its regular-season
finale, losing a 72-70 setback as a three-point home favorite against the No.
11 Ohio State Buckeyes. Spartans forward
Draymond Green notched team-highs of 19 points and 12 boards in Sunday’s setback,
recording his fourth double-double in the team’s last six games.
Green added four assists, while mates Brandon Wood and Derrick Nix
united for 26 points off the bench. Michigan State connected at 45.5 percent from the field, including
5-of-14 from three-point land.
The contest’s combined 142 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 127,
ending a 3-0 ‘under’ streak from the Spartans’ prior three games. Michigan State’s Keith Appling and Branden
Dawson logged two steals each, with Appling hitting 4-of-11 field buckets en
route to 11 points.
Hawkeyes get past
Thursday’s tourney-opening triumph for Iowa saw the Hawkeyes rally
from a 31-27 halftime deficit, while edging out Illinois in rebounds,
34-32. Hawkeyes guard Matt Gatens logged
a team-high 20 points, hitting 7-of-12 field buckets.
Gatens’ mate Aaron White finished with 13 points and nine boards,
with the freshman reaching double figures for a second straight game. Iowa’s Bryce Cartwright notched seven of his
squad’s 15 assists, while held to five points in 33 minutes of action.
The battle’s combined 125 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 132,
bringing the ‘under’ to 4-0 in the Hawkeyes’ last four games. Iowa recorded a sparse 10 personal fouls,
leaving the Illini without a free throw in the contest.
Back the ‘over’ between
Friday’s matchup is scheduled for 12 p.m. (ET), with ESPN slated
to provide the national television coverage. The winner advances to Saturday afternoon’s first semifinal duel of the
I am adding the ‘over’ to my sports picks in this spot, looking for Michigan State
to run up points early while Iowa connects its share of hoops in “garbage
time.” The Hawkeyes (72.1 PPG) and
Spartans (71.9 PPG) rank in the Big Ten’s top five for scoring, with
Dawson and Cartwright among the
conference leaders in shooting (57.7 percent) and assists (4.3 APG),
Michigan State should be ready to let loose after the team’s
two-game slide to end the regular season. Dawson and Co. have put up 72.3 PPG in spots that followed their last
Iowa has given up 75.5 PPG in its last eight duels away from home,
with the back-to-back spot likely to not make defending the Spartans any
easier. Look for ‘over’ tickets to cash
early here, while Michigan State looks ahead to Saturday’s card.