NCAA Tournament: Michigan State vs. Minnesota fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, March 23
Game Time: 7:45 ET
Venue: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA
All You Really Need To Know About Minnesota (22-13)
(Big Ten), NCAA NET Rank: 61. East 10-seed
Minnesota finished dead last in the Big Ten in made threes, and then it played out of its melon in the 86-76 win over Louisville, nailing 11 of 27 shots from behind the arc. It’s going to have to do that again to have any shot of getting by the Spartans.
The Gophers are great on the line – even if they didn’t show it against the Cardinals – and they’re strong at not screwing up or giving the ball away. They have to keep the ball moving and they have to own the boards after tying UofL. More than anything else, everyone has to keep from getting gassed – there’s no bench.
All You Really Need To Know About Michigan State (29-6)
(Big Ten), NCAA NET Rank: 8. East 2-seed
Awful against Bradley until it was finally able to turn it on late to finally pull away in a 76-65 win. To sound like a cliché, it’s the NCAA Tournament. Winning without playing your best is still winning.
However, the Spartans have to be a whole lot better from three and they have to keep being amazing from the free throw line – hitting 25-of-26 to get through the down moments against the Braves.
The defense stepped it up when it had to, but against Minnesota, the key will be to get out on the move. Against a short Gopher bench, MSU has to keep the ball moving, and it has to assume that the threes aren’t going to be falling for Richard Pitino’s club like they were against Louisville.
What’s Going To Happen
The Spartans managed to squeak by Minnesota by 24 back in early February, but that was the regular season – it doesn’t matter.
The Gophers don’t take the ball away, Michigan State passes the ball around way too well, and it’ll be a different team than the one that was pushed so hard by Bradley. Minnesota will hang around deep into the second half by matching up well on the boards, and then the offense will fizzle.
The three isn’t going to fall in the second round for the Gophers.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Michigan State 79, Minnesota 70
Line: Michigan State -10.5, o/u: 142
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle