Madison Square Gardens is the sight of this year's Sweet Sixteen Matchup between the seven-seed Michigan State Spartans and the three-seed Kansas State Wildcats. On the line is a trip to the Elite Eight and ultimately, a chance to represent the East Region in the Final Four. It is time to continue our March Madness odds series with Michigan State- Kansas State prediction and pick.
If experience in March determines the winner, go ahead and take the Spartans and lay all the points possible. Tom Izzo is coaching in his 78th NCAA Tournament game and is looking to make the Elite Eight for the 11th time in his career. On the other side is Jerome Tang, who is coaching his third NCAA Tournament game. He took over this year at Kansas State after spending 2003-2022 at Baylor. Tang has shown he is a great coach in his own right though, winning the Big 12 Coach of the Year award this year.
To get to this point, Michigan State already has knocked off 10-seeded USC and two-seeded Marquette. Kansas State took care of business against 14-see Montana State and six-seeded Kentucky. Both teams were popular picks to be upset during the tournament to this state, but both have survived and one will go to the Elite Eight.
Here are the Michigan State-Kansas State March Madness odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
March Madness Odds: Michigan State-Kansas State Odds
Michigan State: -1.5 (-110)
Kansas State: +1.5 (-110)
Over: 137.5 (-114)
Under: 137.5 (-106)
How To Watch Michigan State vs. Kansas State
Stream: NCAA March Madness App
Time: 6:30 PM ET/ 3:30 PM PT
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Why Michigan State Could Cover The Spread
Michigan State is doing what they do best right now. They are being efficient on offense, scoring over one point per possession on offense so far in the tournament. The Spartans are keeping the pace slow, primarily playing out of the half-court and limiting transition. They are playing solid defense, averaging 61.5 points given up in the two games. According to KenPom, both teams in this match-up have top-50 adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency units, with Michigan State having the better offensive unit.
The offense was highlighted by Tyson Walker against Marquette. Walker shot 47.1% from the field on his way to a 23-point game. That was tied for his second-highest point total on the season, and tied for the most in a game that did not go to overtime. Walker did not hit from three-point range though, but neither did the whole team. The Spartans only hit two of 16 three-point attempts in the game, good for 12.5%. This is an abnormality for this squad. Michigan State was 8th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage on the year. Their 38.74% was also tops in the Big Ten. They do not take the most threes, but they hit a lot more than they did against Marquette. Kansas State is a much better three-point defense, but regardless, their shooting will not be as bad as it was.
Why Kansas State Could Cover The Spread
Tempo may be the most important part of this game. Tom Izzo and the Spartans will want to slow down the pace. They rank 302nd in KenPom’s adjusted tempo rating. Houston is the only team left in the tournament that wants to play at a slow pace. Kansas State wants to push the floor. They are 41st in the adjusted tempo rating according to KenPom, the fourth fastest team left in the field of sixteen. Michigan State is top ten in transition points allowed on the season, so Kansas State breaking through that will be a large task, but if they do, they should control the game.
Beyond tempo, Markquis Nowell needs to repeat his performance from the Kentucky game. In that game, he shot 50% and scored 27 points, while adding nine assists. That means 47 of the Kansas State 75 points were a contribution of Nowell. That is an astounding 62.7% off the offense that Nowell had a hand in. Matching up against Nowell should be AJ Hoggard, which is good for Michigan State. According to Synergy Statistics, Hoggard is one of the best in the nation in isolation defense.
Michigan State has to lower the contribution of Nowell and make other plays contribute. Kansas State does have guys to do that. Four of Kansas State's five starts had double-digit points in the game, which is not abnormal for Kansas State. The Wildcats average only 16.91 points per game off the bench, which was 228th in the nation this season. If Michigan State gets the Wildcats in foul trouble, this could spell disaster for Kansas State.
Final Michigan State-Kansas State Prediction & Pick
If Michigan State can slow down the game and shoot slightly better from three-point land, they should be able to control the game. This is also a game where experience is going to matter. As great as Tang has been for Kansas State, he is not Tom Izzo. Izzo will have his team prepared to slow down the Kansas State transition and limit the production of Nowell. With that, they will head back to the Elite Eight.
Final Michigan State-Kansas State Prediction & Pick: Michigan State -1.5 (-110) and Over 137.5 (-114)