Texas Tech (30-6) vs Michigan State (32-6)
NCAA Basketball: Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 8:49 PM (Minneapolis, MN)
Lines and Odds: Michigan State -2.5 — Over/Under: 132.5
Texas Tech Red Raiders (30-6) are swimming in uncharted waters coming this far in the NCAA tournament. This will be the first Final Four appearance for the Red Raiders in school history which has had a basketball program since the school was founded in 1925. Notwithstanding, Coach Beard and his team are confident that they have the defensive prowess and offensive weapons to take down the Spartans. The Red Raiders were able to limit a top rated offense in Gonzaga that came in to the NCAA tournament with the highest points per game in the country at 88.8. And so it seems feasible that they will be able to defend the Spartans well. The main offensive threat from Tech, Jarret Culver, who is coming off a 19 point effort against Gonzaga will try to build off his impressive play. Culver, a potential lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft will have to score at a high rate if Texas Tech were to pull off the upset.
Michigan State, on the other hand, is a storied basketball program and with an all-time great coach in Tom Izzo present with a different set of challenges. As clear favorites and coming off an upset win over Duke, the Spartans will have to keep the momentum going against a tough Texas Tech defense. The key figure in Michigan State’s lineup will be the play of Cassius Winston. The junior point guard was instrumental in the win against Duke, posting a double-double with 20 points and 10 assists. Another notable starter is Xavier Tillman due to his presence in the paint both defensively and offensively. Tillman finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds and at the defensive end, altered many shots and caused Zion Williamson to shoot 10 of 19 from the field.
Cover the Spread 365 NCAA BB Trends:
Michigan State is 18-1 ATS (against the spread) against teams with a .650 or better winning percentage
Spartans are 5-0 ATS this season when favored by 5 points or less
Michigan State has a 9-1 record this year on neutral court games
Red Raiders have been perfect during this tournament against the spread, the only Final Four team to do so
Texas Tech are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Big Ten teams
Texas Tech is 8-0 in second half covers during tournament games under Chris Beard and 12-3 ATS in the second half over its last 15 games overall
I think everyone can agree that a Cinderella team that goes deep in March Madness is always fun to root for and every year there’s at least one of these teams that make it pretty far in the NCAA tournament. However, it is usually the Final Four where these sort of teams end their run. Although Texas Tech has premier talents such as a Jarret Culver, I don’t think they have the track record nor the coaching experience to overcome Michigan State. For Tom Izzo the Final Four is familiar territory and after seeing Michigan State take down an Uber-talented team like Duke I think the Spartans will take down the Red Raiders with relative ease.
Michigan State -2.5