NCAA March Madness: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Michigan State Spartans betting preview, odds and predictions
In the 3 vs. 7 matchup in the East region of the NCAA Tournament, the Kansas State Wildcats take on the Michigan State Spartans with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs.
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How to watch Kansas State vs. Michigan State
When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: New York, New York
Odds for Kansas State vs. Michigan State
Spread: Kansas State -1
(Odds accurate as of Sunday, March 19th at 8:00 p.m. ET)
Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook
East Region No. 3 Seed Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State beat some very good teams this season, as the Wildcats scored wins over the Texas Longhorns, Baylor Bears and Kansas Jayhawks during the regular season. This Kansas State team is elite on the defensive end, but it can also be tricky to stop on offense. The Wildcats play at a relatively fast pace and have two really impressive offensive players in Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell. Nowell is one of the best point guards in the nation, and he gives his team a chance to win any close game. He stole a win against Kentucky in the second round, hitting big shot after big shot in a game in which Kansas State was thoroughly outplayed.
East Region No. 7 Seed Michigan State Spartans
To say this has been an up-and-down season for Tom Izzo’s group would be an understatement. However, this is a rock-solid basketball team that can get the job done on both ends of the floor. Not only can this group defend when it wants to, but Michigan State has quite a few ways it can beat you offensively. Tyson Walker and A.J. Hoggard are two guards that can take turns dicing up opponents, and Joey Hauser is as good of a power forward as there is in the country. Hauser can beat teams from inside and out, and that is part of what makes this a tough team to guard. Michigan State just made a statement in a win over second-seeded Marquette. This Spartans team now looks like it can compete with anybody.
Kansas State vs. Michigan State matchup analysis
The first thing that jumps out when looking at this matchup is that the Spartans are the much better 3-point shooting team. Michigan State is third in the nation in 3P% this year, while Kansas State is just 188th. The Wildcats do defend the 3-point line very well, which should help their cause a bit. But the Spartans are also pretty good in that regard, so you'd have to think they'll have an edge from beyond the arc because they have the better shooters.
Overall, Tom Izzo's team is the much better group offensively here. The Wildcats might not look bad when it comes to offensive stats, but those numbers are a little skewed because Kansas State got off to a scorching hot start this season. However, since the start of February, the Wildcats have been elite defensively and average offensively. On the other hand, the Spartans have been superb on both ends of the floor. In fact, since February 1st, Michigan State is ranked 19th in Bart Torvik's power ratings, while Kansas State is down at 28th. That means the wrong team might be favored here.
We did, however, learn that it's very risky betting against Jerome Tang's team in the second round. Kentucky was the bigger and better basketball team, but Kansas State was able to pull out a win because of the insane shotmaking of Markquis Nowell. He had 27 points and nine assists in the victory, and there was nothing Kentucky could do to slow him down. Michigan State will be confident that Tyson Walker or A.J. Hoggard will be able to do the trick, but not much matters when special players get in their zones. So, while there is clearly a side that looks a bit sharper here, you can't rule anything out. That's the beauty of March Madness.
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