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Virginia Cavaliers vs. Michigan State Spartans - 3/28/14 East Region

Michigan State Spartans (28-8) at Virginia Cavaliers (30-6)

College Basketball: Friday, March 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: Virginia Cavaliers +1-- Over/Under: 123 See the Latest Odds


The Michigan State Spartans and Virginia Cavaliers will meet Friday night in a Sweet 16 matchup.

Michigan State is coming off of wins over Delaware and Harvard in the NCAA tournament. On the season, Michigan State is averaging 76.5 points on 47.7 percent shooting and is allowing 65.9 points on 39.9 percent shooting. The Spartans have scored 80 or more points in three of their last four games and are getting production from just about everyone. Michigan State has four players averaging at least 11 points, and the Spartans are led by Garry Harris, who averages 16.9 points per game. Michigan State is also one of the better rebounding teams at 37 boards per game. The Michigan State Spartans are 20-12-3 ATS overall.

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Michigan State Spartans - 3/28/14 East Region

Virginia beat Coastal Carolina and Memphis in order to make it to the Sweet 16. On the season, Virginia averages 66.4 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allows 55.5 points on 38.7 percent shooting. It’s no secret that the Cavaliers rely on their defense to win games, as Virginia has allowed only four teams all year to score 70-plus points. Offensively, Virginia only has two players averaging in double figures, but seven players scoring at least five points a game. Virginia is as balanced and as disciplined as you’ll find in the tournament. The Virginia Cavaliers are also 19-11-2 ATS overall. 

The Spartans are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss. The Cavaliers are 11-1-2 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 16-5-2 ATS in their last 23 games overall.

This game is going to be nuts and is probably the most evenly matched game of the Sweet 16. But I have to go with Virginia in this toss-up of a matchup.

The Cavaliers have given me no reason to pick against them all season, as they show up every game and continue to play elite defense. Michigan State relies a little too much on its jump shot and that led to a scary ending against Harvard.

Virginia may not be as flashy as Michigan State, but the Cavs simply find ways to win games.

I’ll take Virginia and the point.


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