NCAA Tournament: Michigan State vs. Texas Tech Final Four fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, April 6
Game Time: 8:49 pm ET
Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
All You Really Need To Know About Michigan State (32-6)
(Big Ten), NCAA NET Rank: 8. East 2-seed
Michigan State showed what an unflappable team could do down the stretch.
UCF had Duke beaten, and Virginia Tech was a few inches away from going into overtime, but the Spartans had the make-up and the nerve to get the job done in the 68-67 win.
They didn’t get to the line – only hitting two of six attempts – and they were just okay from three, but most impressively, the won despite getting destroyed on the boards, getting beaten on the glass 42-31.
But they stayed around, were clutch from three late, and came up with the defensive stops needed to survive, and that’s what they do – they figure it out.
Great on the move – they lead the nation in assists – and they’re usually a whole lot better on the boards. But, really, how did they beat Duke? Turnovers.
The Blue Devils turned it over 17 times, and MSU lost just seven turnovers. As long as the mistakes are kept to a minimum, everything else should be in place.
All You Really Need To Know About Texas Tech (30-6)
(Big 12), NCAA NET Rank: 10. West 3-seed
Texas Tech can play a little offense, too.
The defense is what got the Red Raiders through the season, but the O stepped it up in the 75-69 win over Gonzaga, with three players scoring in double digits.
They hit their free throws, connected on 39% of their threes, and did a good enough job on the boards to keep from getting destroyed by the Bulldog big men.
But it’s all about the D that kept down the nation’s highest-scoring team. They get a ton of blocks, force plenty of turnovers, and finished second in the nation in field goal defense.
Teams – including Gonzaga – don’t get to 30% from three on this long, quick defense, and there’s an attitude. Everyone likes to use the “no one believes in us” rant, but that truly applies to the Red Raiders in this tournament.
What’s Going To Happen
Texas Tech is the absolute real deal, and it’s going to be a problem against the great Spartan guards. The Red Raiders are able to force the mistakes that Duke didn’t, and they won’t lose the turnover battle.
But MSU can play some D, too. It finished third in the nation in field goal defense, and it owns the inside, usually doing a whole lot more to block shots than it did against the Blue Devils.
This is where coaching experience, time, and the stage will matter. Texas Tech will make it a fight, but MSU won’t buckle under the defensive pressure like Michigan did.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Michigan State 66, Texas Tech 62
Line: Michigan State -3, o/u: 132.5
ATS Confidence: 4
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle