Syracuse Orange (22-13) at Michigan State Spartans (30-4)
College Basketball: Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm (Little Caesars Arena)
The Line: Michigan State Spartans -9 -- Over/Under: 130.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Syracuse Orange and Michigan State Spartans will square off at Little Caesars Arena this Sunday afternoon in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 11-seed Syracuse Orange (22-3) kept their season alive after upsetting the 6-seed, TCU Horned Frogs, by a 57-52 margin this past Friday night. Syracuse was outstanding on the defensive end against the high-scoring Horned Frogs and pulled away late after a Frank Howard jumper gave the Orange a 54-49 lead with just 1:31 left in regulation. Syracuse held TCU to just 39.6% shooting from the field and 17.6% (3-17) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Orange was Oshae Brissett who had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, and a steal. On the season, Syracuse is averaging 67.0 ppg on 41.6% shooting from the field. The Orange are averaging 5.8 three-pointers per game on 32.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Syracuse has been led by Tyus Battle (19.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg), Oshae Brissett (14.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 spg), Frank Howard (14.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.9 spg), and Paschal Chukwu (5.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg). Defensively, Syracuse is holding their opponents to an average of 63.9 ppg on 39.6% shooting from the field. The Orange have a rebound margin of 4.5 and a turnover margin of 0.4.
The 3-seed Michigan State Spartans improved to 30-4 on the season after defeating the 14-seed Bucknell Bison, 82-78, this past Friday night. Although the final score made the game look close, Michigan State had this one in control throughout the 2nd half and led by a 75-59 margin with just 2:56 left in regulation. Michigan State shot 53.4% from the field and outrebounded the Bison by a 40-28 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Spartans was Miles Bridges who had 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. On the season, Michigan State is averaging 81.0 ppg on 50.5% shooting from the field. The Spartans are averaging 8.3 three-pointers per game on 41.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Michigan State has been led by Miles Bridges (17.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.8 apg), Cassius Winston (12.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.9 apg), Nick Ward (12.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (11.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 3.1 bpg). Defensively, Michigan State is holding their opponents to an average of 65.2 ppg on 36.7% shooting from the field. The Spartans have a rebound margin of 10.4 and a turnover margin of -3.2.
The Orange are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 NCAA Tournament games however, are just 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games following a ATS win. The Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. ACC opponents, however, just 2-8-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win.
Syracuse has won 4 of their last 5 games and has been led by their defense this season that ranks 12th in scoring defense, 8th in defensive FG%, 48th in rebound margin, and T-8th in blocks per game. Michigan State is one most well-rounded teams in the NCAA Tournament as the Spartans rank 36th in scoring offense, 23rd in scoring defense, 1st in defensive FG%, and 1st in rebound margin. Syracuse plays at the slowest pace in all of College Basketball and will try to do so against to keep this a low-scoring game, however, if the Spartans take care of the basketball, I think they are just too good on both ends of the court for the Orange and that they pull away to win this one by about 10-points. Take Michigan State to cover.