Michigan State vs #2 Michigan Road to March Madness

Michigan State vs #2 Michigan Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Off one of the most shocking losses in school history, second-ranked Michigan looks to bounce back against rival Michigan State on Thursday. The Wolverines, who clinch the Big Ten regular-season title with a victory, are double-digit favorites on the NCAAB odds and are +425 to win the national title. The Spartans are +6500.

How to Bet Michigan State at Michigan NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Crisler Center
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Michigan -13

Last Meeting

Last season, the rivals split. The game in Ann Arbor finished in 77-68 in favor of Michigan. Michigan State only had one lead — 1-0 early in the game. Michigan led 29-23 at halftime, and although the Spartans pulled within one in the second half, they lost to the Wolverines for the first time in five meetings. The Wolverines went 11 of 28 from 3-point range while Michigan State was only 6 of 23.

Why Bet on Michigan State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Spartans (14-10) are in the NCAA Tournament as things stand but not by a lot so they can’t let up. They got a big home win over Indiana on Tuesday, 64-58. Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, who had 34 points in the first meeting, was limited to a season-low nine points on 1-for-5 shooting.

In a game that featured 10 lead changes and eight ties, 45 fouls were called and 59 free throws attempted. Michigan State’s inside defensive emphasis gave IU three-point opportunities it couldn’t exploit. It was just 2-for-20 from beyond the arc. Michigan State is 14-1 when shooting better than its opponent.

“The ball didn’t go in, period,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “With the way Michigan State plays, they will give you three-point shots. Guys have to bang them.”

Spartans junior forward Aaron Henry, who is from Indianapolis and was heavily recruited by the Hoosiers, scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and Michigan State used a late run to pull away. Henry, who scored 12-straight points late in the second half for MSU, scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds, had five assists and two steals to lead three players in double figures.

In a sluggish game for most of the 40 minutes, the teams were tied at 51-all with 4:07 to play when Indiana’s Ali Durham hit a pair of free throws. Henry and the Spartans responded, with the junior captain hitting a jumper with 3:37 left to give MSU the lead for good.

After missing 12 of their first 15 shots in the second half, the Spartans connected on 9-of-15 (56.3 percent) to come back from a five-point deficit in the final 12 minutes. The Spartans out-rebounded Indiana, 43-37. After committing eight turnovers in the first half, MSU had only one in the second half.

Why Bet on Michigan? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Despite being down All-American guard Ayo Dosunmu, No. 4 Illinois went to Ann Arbor and blasted No. 2 Michigan 76-53 on Tuesday. Michigan could have clinched the Big Ten title with a win. Instead, it had its worst offensive outing of the season and second-worst defensive performance, based on points scored and allowed per possession, according to KenPom.com.

The Illini were led by Trent Frazier (22 points, four rebounds), Andre Curbelo (17 points, six rebounds) and Kofi Cockburn (12 points, seven rebounds). It was Illinois’ highest ranked road win ever.

Defense dominated the first half, with the Illini holding Michigan to just 20 percent from the field, and scoring runs led by Andre Curbelo’s 11 first-half points put the Illini up 33-22 at the half. The Illini exploded offensively in the second half, starting the half with a 31-12 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to lead 64-34 with 10 minutes to go.

Michigan (18-2) shot just 35 percent from the field; it entered averaging 78.3 ppg. The Wolverines had just five made baskets from the field in the closing 10 minutes. Senior Eli Brooks was the lone U-M player to score in double digits, scoring 11 on the night and going 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Star freshman Hunter Dickinson was held to six points. And the Wolverines struggled to rebound, allowing Illinois to grab 12 offensive rebounds leading to 22 second-chance points.

“This is a game truly you can learn from and we will learn from a loss like this,” said Michigan coach Juwan Howard. “And the type of performance we gave tonight was not acceptable at all.”

Expert Prediction

  • C 75, Michigan State 65

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