NCAA Tournament Picks for Georgia vs. Michigan State

David Lawrence

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 11:57 AM GMT

The Georgia Bulldogs barely got into the NCAA tournament, being that they are a double-digit seed. The Michigan State Spartans lost this past Sunday and people are wondering if they’re for real in this NCAA tournament. 

The Georgia Bulldogs Can Win Because…
They were one of a few teams to play the Kentucky Wildcats very competitively this season. Georgia lost by only 11 points at Rupp Arena, the Wildcats’ home court. Georgia trailed by only seven points in the latter portion of the second half in that game. In the return engagement in Athens, Georgia, the Bulldogs did even better. They led Kentucky by as many as nine points in the second half. However, they couldn’t finish the job, and this is something you should keep in mind when looking over the NCAA Basketball odds. The losses were disappointing, but they showed how well the Bulldogs could play against top teams. When Georgia is playing well, the Bulldogs are very physical in the paint, with Nemanja Djurisic representing a matchup problem due to his ability to play a back-to-the-basket game, a face-up game, and a perimeter game all in one. Georgia has another physical player in Marcus Thornton, an active power forward who averages over 12 points and seven rebounds per game. He and Djurisic make Georgia a tough team to match up with inside.

Georgia also has some potent scoring guards. Kenny Gaines averages 11.6 points per game, Charles Mann 10.9, and J.J. Frazier 9.8. All three of those players can shoot the three well at times. None is really all that consistent, but all of them have had great shooting games at some point during the SEC season. If the Bulldogs can get good shooting performances from at least two of these three players if not all three, they can win.

 

The Michigan State Spartans Can Win Because…
Their form is returning in March, something the program always relies on because of its head coach. Tom Izzo is one of the best and most respected coaches in college basketball, because he always seems to get his team to play better in the month of March. Michigan State came very close to beating Wisconsin this past Sunday in the Big Ten tournament championship game. The Spartans led by two points in the final 20 seconds but blew a lead because of a key turnover. Nevertheless, being able to play Wisconsin as an equal – enough to send the game into overtime – should do wonders for this team’s confidence. Michigan State should feel that it has all the tools needed to beat Georgia. The Bulldogs were a team that finished their conference tournament this past weekend with no wins over teams that finished in the top 50 of the RPI, the ratings percentage index. Georgia had one of the weaker resumes of all NCAA Tournament teams. Michigan State should be ready for the Bulldogs, who will probably be hurt in this game by their affiliation with the SEC.

 

Outlook
The Spartans and Tom Izzo should be trusted in March to face the winner of Belmont vs. Virginia in the second round, while the Bulldogs and the SEC should not. There are other keys to this game, but those are the college basketball betting factors you should pay the most attention to. Michigan State is our NCAA Basketball pick for the day.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State -5.5 at Bodog