Something’s got to give when the #2 Michigan St. Spartans (25-6) and their stingy defense face the high-flying offense of the #3 LSU Tigers (26-5) at Capital One Arena (7:09 pm ET, Sunday, Mar. 29) in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans are being given the edge, opening as 6-point chalk, with the total at 149.
LSU Tigers Preview
The Tigers have been among the country’s best offenses this year, entering the game averaging 82 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the nation. On defense, they’ve been considerably worse, giving up 73 PPG, 227th in the America, but that’s largely because they play at the 58th-fastest pace.
The LSU defense is actually top-50 in efficiency at KenPom (48th) heading into the Sweet 16. And that defense has been better than usual in the tournament, so far, holding high-scoring Yale to 74 points and a relatively efficient Maryland team to just 67.
Offensively, LSU is led by undersized point guard Tremont Waters, who’s scoring a team-best 15 points per game. In terms of rebounds, freshman stud Naz Reid has led the way with 7 rebounds a night.
A solid performance in terms of rebounding has helped the Tigers at both ends. They are averaging 36 rebounds a night, 22nd in Division I.
LSU is coming off a 69-67 win over Maryland in the Round of 32. Skylar Mays led the team in that game with 16 points, making up for a somewhat quiet night from Waters (12 points). But it was Waters who had the game-winning bucket in the dying seconds, proving yet again the value of a dynamic, experienced guard late in these hyper-tense tournament games.
Many predicted LSU was ripe for an upset heading into the tournament due to the internal turmoil surrounding suspended head coach Will Wade. But this team has rallied together yet again.
LSU vs Michigan State Statistical Comparison
|28-6 (4-3 neutral)||Record||30-6 (7-1 neutral)|
|+20.69 (18th)||Overall Efficiency Rating||+31.25 (3rd)|
|117.8 (13th)||Offensive Efficiency Rating||121.6 (4th)|
|97.1 (48th)||Defensive Efficiency Rating||90.3 (8th)|
|79-74 vs #14 Yale||Round 1 Result||76-65 vs #15 Bradley|
|69-67 vs #6 Maryland||Round 2 Result||70-50 vs #10 Minnesota|
Michigan State Spartans Preview
The Tigers will be facing a Michigan St group that is elite on offense, sitting 11th in offensive rating and 4th in offensive efficiency at KenPom. That’s led to the Spartans averaging 80 points per contest, 39th in the country.
The Spartans pair their potent offense with an impressive defense, one which sits 20th in defensive rating and 8th in efficiency. Tom Izzo’s crew is surrendering just 66 PPG heading into today’s game. This is a team that can beat you in multiple ways.
Arguably the best point guard in America, Cassius Winston has been their go-to scorer, scoring 19 PPG, while Kenny Goins leads the Spartans in rebounds, grabbing 9 RPG.
Goins’s work on the glass has helped Michigan St dominate that part of the game. As a team, they are 3rd on the boards, averaging 39 rebounds per game. Count on a fierce battle on the glass this weekend.
The Spartans bounced back from a close call against Bradley in round one by throttling #10 Minnesota, 70-50, in round two. Forward Xavier Tillman led the team in scoring, pouring in 14 points in the W. Winston had just 13 points, but added 9 assists and 2 steals.
The win continued a hot streak for Michigan St, which is now 9-1 in its last ten games, while LSU is 8-2 in its last ten, including the win over Maryland.
For betting purposes, Michigan St has rewarded its backers all season, going 25-11-0 ATS. But take a moment before putting your money down because LSU is a solid 19-14-1 ATS, itself. Both squads have been better than expected this season, at least compared to the expectations of oddsmakers.
Find up-to-the-minute odds, line movement, and our proprietary projection system’s score prediction for Louisiana State vs Michigan St above. As always, good luck betting.