NCAA Tournament Final Four Pick: #3 Texas Tech vs #2 Michigan State
Look for a Close Game
Our Texas Tech vs Michigan State preview and pick has the Spartans at -2.5. This Texas Tech vs Michigan State preview for the Final Four features two teams that had to beat number one seeds in the Elite Eight round to get here. This NCAA Tournament Final Four game will be played on Saturday, April 6 at 8:49 pm ET. It will be held at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN and is the second of two contests that night. The first which is schedule to start at 6:09 pm ET, will have the fifth-seed Auburn Tigers playing Virginia Cavaliers, the only first-seed left in the Big Dance.
Texas Tech Tournament History
In only one contest in the entire 2019 NCAAM Tournament has Texas Tech gone into the locker room down. That was in their Elite Eight game against first-seed and fourth-in-the-nation Gonzaga. The score at the half was Gonzaga 37 and the Red Raiders 35. Still, at the end of the game, it was Tech 75 and the Bulldogs 69. To get to the Elite Eight, the Red Raiders first beat the 14th-seed Northern Kentucky Norse. That score was 72-57. Next, in Round Two, the Red Raiders took on the sixth-seed Buffalo Bulls. They beat the Bulls, who were ranked 16th nationally, by 20 points, 78-58. In the Sweet 16, it was second-seed Michigan who fell to the Red Raiders. The final in that game was 63-44. Our Texas Tech vs Michigan State preview notes that overall the Red Raiders have done an exceptional job on defense, holding opponents to 57.0 PPG. Gonzaga, who had been good for 82 PPG in the tournament, scored just 69 against the Raiders.
Michigan State Tournament History
Our Texas Tech vs Michigan State preview observes that only once in the 2019 NCAAM Tournament did the Spartans end the first half with a deficit. And that was not in the Duke, LSU or Minnesota games. That was in their Round One contest with the 15th-seed Bradley Braves. At the half, it was Bradley 35 and MSU 34. The game ended with Michigan State at 76 and Bradley 65. In the second round, MSU took on Big Ten counterpart and 10th-seed Minnesota, beating them 70-50. Then in the Sweet 16, the Spartans easily took care of the 12th-ranked nationally and third-seed LSU Tigers. The final score was 80-63. In their Elite Eight game, Michigan State was down at 5:24 of the first half to Gonzaga 30-21. But then they started making up ground, and in the second half, with the lead changing numerous times, beat the Duke Blue Devils 68-67. Kenny Goins hit a three-pointer with 39 seconds remaining and that was the difference-maker in that game.
Texas Tech vs Michigan State Preview Matchup
Our Texas Tech vs Michigan State preview and pick finds that is each of these teams shoots as they did in their Elite Eight game, then the Red Raiders will, in the end, come out on top. In comparing these two teams, Texas Tech hit 43.9% of their field goals while MSU was good on 42.9%. There’s not much difference there. However, three-point attempts came out in favor of the Raiders 39.1% to 31.6% and free throws were 84.2% to 33.3%. Overall, in the 2019 NCAAM Tournament, the Spartans have struggled from downtown. The Raiders have been much more consistent and on the mark in all shooting categories. By the way, MSU has, like TTU, put a tough D on the court. They are allowing 61.25 PPG, which is just 4.25 more points than the Raiders.
Texas Tech Players
Texas Tech has a lot of fine scorers, including guard Jarrett Culver. Culver is averaging 18.6 PPG as well as 6.4 RPG and 3.8 APG. Senior guard Matt Mooney posted 17 points, five assists, and three steals against Gonzaga. Davide Moretti, also at guard, hits 50% of his shots. He had 12 points in the game versus the Bulldogs, which is also his average for points per game. In front, Tariq Owens does a good job in the paint. Owens is averaging 8.9 PPG and 5.8 RPG.
Michigan State Players
MSU is solid in front and back. The frontcourt includes senior forward Kenny Goins and sophomore forward Xavier Tillman. Goins is averaging 8.1 PPG and Tillman 10.0 PPG. Against Duke, the former posted 10 points and the latter 19. They each grabbed nine rebounds. Off the bench, junior Nick Ward offers extra points and rebounding. He’s averaging 13.2 PPG and 5.1 APG. Junior guard Cassius Winston is the ultimate playmaker. Winston is averaging 18.9 PPG and 7.6 APG. In the game against Duke, he earned a double-double, scoring 20 points and making 10 assists.
Texas Tech vs Michigan State Pick
Our Texas Tech vs Michigan State preview notes that the Spartans look like they can out-muscle and out-perform the Red Raiders in the frontcourt. The backcourts are fairly even, except we find that Winston has that something-extra as a playmaker. Texas Tech has been better when it comes to shooting percentages, MSU has been tougher on rebounds, and both are fairly even in D. There’s a reason this spread is 2.5 points. We’re banking on Winston to be the difference-maker here and can also see Goins being clutch. With those factors in mind, we’re taking the MSU Spartans at -2.5.
Summary Texas Tech vs Michigan State Preview and Pick: Michigan State Spartans at -2.5