Michigan State Spartans vs. Connecticut Huskies NCAA Tournament East Region Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/30/14
Connecticut Huskies (29-8) at Michigan State Spartans (29-8)
College Basketball: Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: Michigan State Spartans -5.5 -- Over/Under: 139.5 See the Latest Odds
The 7 seed Connecticut Huskies square off against 4 seed Michigan State from Madison Square Garden Sunday afternoon at 2:20PM on CBS.
Connecticut rolled into the elite 8 after holding on late to beat a solid Iowa State club 81-76. The Huskies led the entire contest and were able to hit free throws and big buckets down the stretch to stave off the Cyclones late run. The Huskies got a huge game from forward DeAndre Daniels who went off for 27 points and 10 boards -- Daniels was effective both inside and out and finished the contest with two threes at key spots and blocked two shots as well. Shabazz Napier was his usual productive self with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. UConn was aided by strong free throw shooting -- the Huskies finished with 20-22 at the line while Iowa State shot is just 6-15 (40%).
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Michigan State continued their expected run deep in the tournament by defeating the nation’s best defensive team and east region 1 seed UVA Friday night 61-59. The Spartans and Cavaliers were level for most of the contest and Michigan State was bailed out by big play after big play from big man Adrian Payne late in the game. Payne registered key blocks, hit a three to break a 51-51 tie and threw an alley oop to Brendan Dawson at a key spot. Payne finished with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Brendan Dawsom led all scorers with 24 points and 10 boards and Sparty finished the game 15-18 at the line and hit all key free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
This is not unfamiliar territory for these two programs as both have been in the elite 8 many times in recent years. I expect this game to be competitive throughout but Michigan State’s physicality to be the difference as the game wears on. Look for the Spartans to let Shabazz Napier get his while they try to limit the rest of the UConn offensive threats -- I like another big game from Payne and Dawson as Sparty gets the cover and the win and advances to the final 4.