Louisville vs Michigan State Picks, Spread, and Review


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Louisville (28-9 SU/20-13-1 ATS) posted a 59-56 win over New Mexico in the third round of the NCAAs last Saturday as -2 point favorites.

Russ Smith poured in 17 points and Louisville held off the Lobos in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Chane Behanan and Kyle Kuric each added 10 points for the fourth-seeded Cardinals, who finished shooting 45.8 percent compared to 39.7 percent for New Mexico.

Peyton Siva ended with six points and five assists and had his most important assist late in the game when he delivered a pass on the money to the paint to a darting Gorgui Dieng for a two-handed jam with 32.3 seconds left. Dieng had 10 rebounds and three blocks to go with six points.

The Cardinals lost three of their last four regular season games, and then swept through the Big East Tournament with four straight wins. The No. 4 seed then beat Davidson 69-62 in their opening tournament game before facing the fifth-seeded Lobos. Louisville limited New Mexico to 32.6 percent shooting against zone defense and the Lobos were 4-for-20 from three-point range against the zone.

In its first two games in the NCAA Tournament, Louisville has held its opponents to 7-for-35 (20 percent) shooting from three-point range when it plays zone.

Michigan State (29-7 SU/22-11 ATS) is coming off a hard-fought 65-61 win over St. Louis as -7½ point favorites. Draymond Green had another impressive outing with 16 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and two steals as Michigan State punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 by holding off Saint Louis.

Keith Appling added 19 points, while Brandon Wood and Derrick Nix each chipped in with 10 points for the top-seeded Spartans, who have reached the regional semifinals in three of the past four years. Michigan State shot 61.9 percent in the second half seal the win for the Spartans.

Michigan State also won the points in the paint battle, 24-16. The Billikens were 7-of-25 from beyond the arc, while Michigan State was 4-of-10 from three-point range. Green became the first player in NCAA Tournament history to record two official triple-doubles on Friday in an 89-67 win over LIU Brooklyn with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Unofficially, Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson are the only other players to post at least two triple-doubles in the tournament as assists weren’t officially counted until 1984.

Louisville is 6-0 ATS in tournament games and 8-3 ATS as an underdog, but oddly enough, the Cardinals are just 2-10 ATS as an underdog on a neutral court; and they are 0-4 ATS as an underdog of +6½ points or less in NCAA Tournament games.

Meanwhile, Michigan State is 19-7 ATS as a favorite in NCAA Tournament games and 17-8 ATS against winning teams (above 60 percent); however, the Spartans haven’t fared well as a favorite of -6½ point or less, going 8-20-1 ATS.

Nevertheless, would only lay the points here…

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