#8 LSU vs. #1 Michigan NCAA Tournament Round of 32

#8 LSU vs. #1 Michigan NCAA Tournament Round of 32 | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 22, 2021

East Region top-seeded Michigan of the Big Ten is on definite upset alert Monday as the Wolverines remain without one of their best players in injured senior Isaiah Livers when they take on eighth-seeded LSU on Monday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Michigan is favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet LSU vs. Michigan NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Monday, 7:10 PM ET
  • Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
  • TV: CBS
  • Stream: https://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Michigan -5 (total 149)

Last Meeting

This will be the fourth all-time meeting between LSU and Michigan with the Wolverines leading 2-1. The teams met in a mid-1990s home-and-neutral series in Baton Rouge and Auburn Hills, Mich. LSU won the last meeting in 2017 in Maui, 77-75.

Why Bet on LSU? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Tigers (19-9) beat a very good St. Bonaventure team that won the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles in Round 1 of the Big Dance, 76-61. Cameron Thomas led LSU with 27 points and three Tigers tallied double doubles.

Reserve forward Aundre Hyatt had a career game with 13 points with 10 rebounds, while forwards Darius Days (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Trendon Watford (11 points, 11 rebounds) each completed double doubles. Despite a cold start offensively, the Tigers dominated the boards (49-30) to build a nine-point halftime lead and pull away in the second half.

Thomas made 11-of-13 free throws – one make short of the Shaquille O’Neal’s program record for an NCAA Tournament game – and added four rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes of action. The All-SEC freshman guard didn’t score in the first 11 minutes of the game before scoring 27 points in the final 29 minutes. His 13 free-throw attempts tied Glen Davis’ tournament record by a Tiger set against Duke in the 2006 Sweet 16.

No. 8-seeded LSU overcame a 1-of-10 start to finish 25-of-62 shooting from the field. The margin of victory was the Tigers’ fourth-largest in its NCAA Tournament history and its largest since a 16-point win over Iona on its way to the 2006 Final Four.

Thomas is now averaging 22.6 PPG over LSU’s last six games (5-1). In a league with powerful Arkansas and Alabama, it was Will Wade’s team that finished first in offensive efficiency in conference play. The Tigers haven’t equaled that effort on defense. In their last three losses, they surrendered 80, 83 and 91 points. On Saturday, however, LSU handed St. Bonaventure, the No. 1 team in offensive efficiency in league play, its worst loss of the season.

That said, Michigan will pose a new set of problems with their height: “We have to, somehow, keep the ball out of the post. When they get it in the post, not only do they have high-quality scoring options, they’re going to get the offensive rebound, then it’s just a matter of if they make it or we foul them. All five of their starters shoot over 77 percent from the free-throw line, so they’re all very good free throw shooters. We have to find a way to keep that thing out of the post,” LSU coach Will Wade said.

Why Bet on Michigan? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Michigan (21-4) beat SWAC champion Texas Southern – coached by LSU alum and former LSU coach Johnny Jones – 82-66 in Round 1. Grad student Mike Smith led UM with 18 points — his fourth straight double-digit scoring game — and added five assists, four rebounds and one steal.

Freshman Hunter Dickinson scored 16 points and had three blocks before fouling out, while senior Eli Brooks and junior Brandon Johns Jr. each added 11 points with Brooks draining three three-pointers and Johns making six free throws.

Michigan capitalized on Texas Southern fouls, making 13 first-half free throws and taking a 42-24 lead into the halftime break, but the Wolverines were actually outscored in the second half. Texas Southern used a 7-0 spurt to cut the U-M lead to 12 points, 73-61, heading into the final media break of the game, but it would be as close as the Tigers would come.

The Wolverines are 8-3 in the 11 games since a five-game postponement for COVID issues Jan. 27 through Feb. 11. Michigan is ranked No. 4 in the country in the AP media poll.

Entering the NCAA tournament, Michigan had held its opponents to 0.92 points per possession with Isaiah Livers on the floor, per hooplens.com. With Livers still out indefinitely with a foot injury, Johns Jr. stepped up vs. Texas Southern. • U-M held Texas Southern to just 8.3 percent (1-for-12) shooting from three-point range.

U-M has reached the second round for the fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament (2017, ’18, ’19, ’21). Michigan is one of just six programs to have reached the second round in each of the last four tournaments, along with Florida, Florida State, Gonzaga, Kansas and Villanova.

Game Trends

  • Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
  • Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
  • Tigers are 5-12-2 ATS in their last 19 neutral site games as an underdog.
  • Wolverines are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games following a straight up win.
  • Wolverines are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games as a favorite.
  • Wolverines are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.

Expert Prediction

  • LSU 78, Michigan 77

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