Michigan State (+1) vs. Maryland
Michigan State is alive! After the regular-season finale win over Michigan, which was the most needed win of the season, the Spartans are locked in the NCAA Tournament someway and somehow.
For those, including me, that did not have much faith in the Spartans after the first loss to the Wolverines or at the beginning of February, look at Sparty now. A win here would 100-percent verify a bid and a loss to Maryland would leave them most likely in a First 4 In or at-large situation. On most Sportsbooks, MSU was plus-money to make the NCAA Tournament before their two games versus Michigan, now some sport Sparty at -1000 to make it.
Most projections have moved Michigan State and Maryland to No. 10 and 11 seeds, making this matchup that much more appealing.
Maryland won the only meeting between these two teams this season, 73-55. That was the lone loss for Michigan State during a five-game stretch to end February heading into March. The matchup took place in College Park, MD, where the Terps are 11-6 SU (64.7%), compared to 4-6 SU (40%) on the road. Michigan State was in a similar boat this season, going 12-3 SU (80%) at home and 3-8 SU (27.2%) away from East Lansing, MI.
In the Big Ten, Michigan State has won four of the last eight Big Ten Tournaments and reached the finals in five of the previous eight. Impressive numbers. They would like to replicate that success and after the Michigan win, they seem determined. Now, taking on an opponent that has beaten them two of the past three meetings, the Spartans have a lot of reasons to back them.
Maryland's last five wins have been over Minnesota, Nebraska (twice), Rutgers and Michigan State. Michigan State's last five wins have come against Indiana (twice), Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan.
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The last time these two met in the Big Ten Tournament was 2016 and Michigan State won 64-61. Michigan State won in 2015 too, 62-58, as the only two meetings in the conference tourney. Maryland joined the Big Ten in 2015 after leaving the ACC.
The Under is 7-3 (70%) in the last 10 games for Sparty and 8-1-1 (80%) for the Terps per NBC Sports Edge Tools. The game total today is a lowly 130.0. Both teams have won six of the past 10 games entering this matchup. Odds are this matchup should be another low-scoring affair, but I like at Michigan State to get revenge in a pick-em. The Spartans saved their season and seemed more motivated than ever. I expect a better-shooting effort the second time around versus Maryland.
Maryland allows opponents to score 37.8% of their points from beyond the three-point line, ranking the 16th-most in the country. Michigan State focuses on two-pointers to score (52.9%), but the Spartans only shot 37.9% from two in the first meeting. That will not happen here and if Michigan State attempts 28 three-pointers again versus Maryland, more than eight (28.6%) should fall with the intensity of today's game.
Back Sparty to keep the good times rolling and move to 3-0 all-time versus Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan State's Moneyline is +100 on PointsBet.
Game Pick: Michigan State ML (2u)
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