NCAA Tournament Michigan State Spartans vs. Delaware Blue Hens Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/20/14
Delaware Blue Hens (25-9) at Michigan State Spartans (26-8)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm (Spokane Arena)
The Line: Michigan State Spartans -14.5 -- Over/Under: 152 See the Latest Odds
The Delaware Blue Hens play the Michigan State Spartans in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
Delaware finished with a 25-9 overall record at the conclusion of the regular season. The Blue Hens won the Colonial regular-season and tournament titles for the first time and are in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years. The Blue Hens team that can score in bunches as five Delaware players average in double figures. Devon Saddler, 19.7 points, ranks third on the Division I active career scoring list, 2,201 points, while Davon Usher and Jarvis Threatt add 19.4 and 18.1 points, respectively. Carl Baptiste, who had the game-winning layup in the 75-74 win against William & Mary in the CAA tournament title game, adds 11.3 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Hens, who are 0-4 at the NCAA tournament. Kyle Anderson, who adds 11 points, needs two 3-pointers to break John Gordon's single-season school record of 86 and Usher is just behind with 82 3-pointers.
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Michigan State finished the regular season with a 26-8 overall record. The Spartans earn a spot in the NCAA tournament for the 17th straight season. The Spartans rolled to the Big Ten tournament title and are in a groove with the return of three starters, Adreian Payne, Keith Appling, and Branden Dawson from injury. Payne is averaging 15.3 points in 12 games since returning from a foot injury and Dawson is putting up 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in his last six games since coming back from a broken hand. Gary Harris leads the Spartans with 17.1 points while Payne, 51.2%, and Dawson, 60.8%, are both shooting over 50% from the floor. Keith Appling, who missed three games late in the season with a sore wrist, is averaging 12.3 points and 4.6 assists. Michigan State recovered from a late-season defensive slump and is holding opponents to 40 percent shooting and 65.3 points, allowing just 60.3 points in three games at the Big Ten tournament.
Michigan State should have been ranked higher in the tournament in my opinion and I think they will make a run to the final four when it’s all said and done. Delaware is a good team with a lot of firepower on the offensive end of the floor. I think the Blue Hens will keep this interesting for the first half and will cover the spread as Michigan State will win by 10-12 points.