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Michigan State vs. Syracuse - NCAA Second Round - 3/18/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Syracuse Orange (22-13) at Michigan State Spartans (30-4)
Date & Time Sunday March 18, 2018, 2:40 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Michigan State Spartans -8.5 -- Over/Under:
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NCAA BB | Syracuse Orange (22-13) at Michigan State Spartans (30-4)

We have some Midwest region NCAA tournament second round action on Sunday as the #11 seed Syracuse Orange take on the #3 seed Michigan State Spartans in a college basketball matchup. 

The Syracuse Orange will look for a second straight upset after taking down TCU in their first round matchup by a final score of 57-52. Marek Dolezaj led Syracuse with 17 points on 8 of 13 shooting while Oshae Brissett came 2nd with 13 points along with 9 rebounds as the only other Syracuse player to score in double figures in the win. Paschal Chukwu added 8 points and a team-high 10 rebounds while Frank Howard and Tyus Battle each added 7 points with 3 assists while Howard added a pair of steals as well. Battle leads the Orange with an average of 19.7 points per game while Brissett leads Syracuse in rebounding with 8.9 rebounds per game and Howard leads the Orange in assists with 4.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Syracuse is scoring 67.3 points per game on 41.8% shooting from the field, 32.2% from behind the arc and 73.4% from the foul line this season.

The Michigan State Spartans will look to keep the ball rolling after narrowly escaping an upset bid from #14 seed Bucknell, defeating the Bison by a final score of 82-78 in their opening round matchup on Friday. Miles Bridges led the Spartans with 29 points on 12 of 22 shooting with 3 threes while Joshua Langford added 22 points and Cassius Winston chipped in 11 points with a team-high 10 assists for the double-double to round out the trio of double digit scorers for the Spartans in the win. Bridges leads the Spartans in scoring with 17.3 points per game while Winston leads Michigan State in assists with 6.9 assists per game and Nick Ward leads Sparty in rebounding with 7.2 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Michigan State is scoring 81 points per game on 50.5% shooting which is the 5th-best field goal percentage in the country, along with the 6th-best 3-point percentage at 41% from behind the arc along with a 74.9% mark from the foul line. Michigan State is also solid defensively, allowing the lowest field goal percentage against in the nation, allowing opponents to shoot just 36.7% from the field this season.

Syracuse is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 NCAA tournament games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. Michigan State is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NCAA tournament games while the over is 8-1 in their last 9 games against the ACC. Syracuse is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.

Syracuse’s win over TCU was a nice one for their confidence to prove that they belong in the tournament. However, Syracuse also has trouble scoring from time to time, and it won’t help playing the Spartans, who give up the lowest field goal percentage against in the country and can flat out shoot the rock. I thought this line was going to be higher, but given Michigan State's struggles ATS and how they performed against Bucknell I can understand why it is where it is. Even still, I think Michigan State will be too much and will win this one by double digits.

Michigan State -8.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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