Michigan State vs Miami March Madness Pick, Prediction & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,March 16, 2017 11:22, EDT in

Michigan State has been an NCAA Tournament regular for two decades, but the Spartans had to sweat out Selection Sunday. They landed a No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region and will take on No. 8 Miami of the ACC on Friday night in one of the most even first-round matchups – as 8 vs. 9 games usually are. The Canes are slight in the NCAAB odds.

Michigan State vs Miami March Madness Pick, Prediction & TV Info

When: Friday, March 17, 9:20 PM ET
Where: Bank of Oklahoma Center, Tulsa
TV: TNT
StreamMarch Madness Live
RadioMichigan State / Miami
Opening NCAAB Lines: Miami -2

Why Bet On Michigan State?

With their at-large bid, the Spartans continued their impressive run of 20 straight NCAA Tournament appearances despite posting their worst record in six seasons (19-14). It is the longest current streak among Big Ten schools and third-longest current streak in the nation. Only Kansas (28) and Duke (22) have longer current streaks. In fact, it is the fourth-longest streak of all-time, and the longest in Big Ten history. North Carolina appeared in 27 consecutive NCAA Tournaments between 1975-2001.

Tom Izzo’s squad has one big weakness, and it is turnovers — they finished 334th out of 351 teams with a -3.2 turnovers margin. This has not been one of Izzo’s steadiest teams, but it’s intriguing nonetheless — mostly because of freshman Miles Bridges, one of the most dynamic players in college basketball.

Bridges captured Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors from both the media and coaches, becoming the second Spartan to win the award since it was first presented in 1986, joining Gary Harris (2013). Bridges led all conference freshmen in both scoring (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg) in Big Ten contests.

Even following an up-and- down regular season and considering last year’s abrupt NCAA tournament exit, it’s hard to bet against Izzo this time of year. Sparty is just 3-8 ATS over its last 11 neutral site games and enters the tournament having dropped three of its last four outings. However, it’s worth noting that the over is 21-7 in the last 28 games in which Michigan State has been listed as an underdog.

In its 30 NCAA Tournaments, Michigan State has a record of 23-7 in its first game of the tournament. Since the field expanded in 1985, the Spartans are 19-7 in the round of 64. Izzo is 14-5 in the round of 64.

Why Bet On Miami?

Miami (21-11) is making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance overall and first in consecutive years since reaching the tournament a school-record three straight seasons from 1998-2000. The Hurricanes tied for seventh in the ACC with a 10-8 league mark. The Canes beat visiting Duke and North Carolina but lost tough ACC games at home to viable opponents (Notre Dame, Florida State) and really struggled on the road outside of an overtime win at Virginia.

The Hurricanes roll into the Dance having dropped three of their last four games and are 1-4 ATS over their last five tourney showdowns. Without much offensive firepower — the Hurricanes rank 266th in points per game and over 123rd in field goal percentage — Miami will grind games out using the 4th-slowest pace in the tournament.

Miami has one of the better guard groups in the tournament with Davon Reed, Ja’Quan Newton and potent freshman Bruce Brown. Brown does a little bit of everything else for Miami as the team’s third-best scorer (11.9 points), second-leading rebounder (5.8 rebounds) and second-best assister (3.2 assists). The Hurricanes are 17-1 when scoring 70 or more points. They didn’t reach 60 in seven of their losses.

Miami played 10 teams in the 2017 NCAA Tournament field, posting a 4-10 record against Duke (1-1), Florida (0-1), Florida State (0-2), Iowa State (0-1), Louisville (0-1), North Carolina (1-1), Notre Dame (0-1), Virginia (1-0), Virginia Tech (1-1) and Wake Forest (0-1). Michigan State and Miami share two common opponents this season: Duke and Rutgers. The Spartans went 1-1 against the Blue Devils and Scarlet Knights, while the Hurricanes went 2-1 (1-1 vs. Duke, 1-0 vs. Rutgers).

Friday’s game will mark the second-ever meeting between Michigan State and Miami. The Hurricanes defeated the Spartans, 67-59, on Nov. 28, 2012, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Miami.

Michigan State vs Miami March Madness Pick: Michigan State Spartans

Very similar teams, but don’t bet against Izzo in March (except for last year).