This article is part of our Betting Promotions series.
The Michigan State Spartans take on Kansas State Wildcats in the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden today. The No. 7 seed Spartans are 2-point favorites over the No. 3 seed Wildcats, according to BetMGM.
The Spartans find themselves playing in the second weekend of March Madness, under Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo, once again. They rank 25th in KenPom, but just 33rd in NET, with a very pedestrian 5-9 mark vs. Quad 1 competition. Tyson Walker (14.8 points per game and 40.7% from three) and Joey Hauser (14.3 PPG and 46.2% from three) lead a slow and deliberate Spartans offense. Michigan State ranks 302nd in the nation in adjusted tempo and 274th in average possession length, per KenPom.
While Izzo in his 28th season, Jerome Tang is in his first year at the helm of Kansas State. What a turnaround he initiated as the Wildcats made it through the Big 12 gauntlet with an 11-7 conference record and a 25-9 mark overall. Florida transfer Keyontae Johnson is back in the NCAA Tournament after a life threatening heart scare while playing for the Gators and now leads K-State with 17.5 PPG and 7.0 rebounds per game. Dynamo point guard and Harlem native Markquis Nowell is second in the nation with 7.8 assists per game and 12th in steals per game at 2.4, to go along with his 17.1 PPG.
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Betting Picks For Michigan State vs. Kansas State
Michigan State sits at -2 (-110) on BetMGM with a total of 137.5.
The Spartans’ offense ranks 38th in the nation in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency per KenPom at 113.3 points per 100 possessions. They shoot a lights-out 38.7 percent from three — sixth in the nation — but their ratio of 3PA/FGA of 32.8 percent is very low. Michigan State also doesn’t get to the foul line as their FTA/FGA ratio of 26.9 percent ranks 320th in the country, perhaps because they do not shoot particularly well inside the arc.
The metrics suggest that these teams match up pretty evenly — and just a 2-point spread backs that up. K-State ranks 24th in NET and 21st on KenPom. The Wildcats’ AdjOE of 112.5 is almost identical to that of the Spartans, but Kansas State gets there in a very different way. The team shoots a relatively poor 33.6 percent from three, but ranks 70th nationally at 52.7 percent on two-pointers.
The difference in this game will likely take place beyond the arc, however, as the Wildcats have held their opponents to just 29.7 percent from three this season. Izzo will surely look to get Walker and Hauser enough quality looks from three, and that could decide which team advances to the Elite Eight.
With the Spartans going just 5-9 in Quad 1 games, I like the Wildcats plus the points as my best bet for Michigan State vs. Kansas State.
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