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Butler – 32-4 SU, 16-20 ATS
Michigan State – 28-8 SU, 15-20 ATS
MSU vs. Butler Odds
At current Butler is the scant favourite at -1
Michigan State +1
Moneyline: Currently OFF
This Final Four matchup takes place in Butler’s backyard of Indianapolis at 6:05 PM on Saturday.
There is no recent matchup history between these two teams.
Well they did it!
Butler has scaled the mountain top to find last year’s runner up, Michigan State standing in their way…but at least they have a built in advantage playing only minutes from campus.
For several rounds I have predicted that the Bulldogs would be eliminated and in addition to eating my own words I have learned a couple things. 1) The Bulldogs play amazing defense even though they do not have an eraser on the back end.
This is mostly due to their guard dogging ball handlers and their ability to get teams to take shots they maybe shouldn’t. 2) This team is money down the stretch. Other (often more talented) teams fritter away games by not being able to make smart decisions and free throws when they matter most.
Brad Stevens just might be the best coach in America and his influence on the team is observed throughout the game and especially down the stretch where the Bulldogs seem more calm than opponents. Is this enough to push Butler to the Finals…Possibly.
Michigan State may have eeked out a win against Tennessee to make it to the Final Four but this team has exceeded expectations since star PG Kalin Lucas was lost for the season. All of their tournament games have been close and Durrell Summers has really come on, leading them in scoring the last three games.
His improved play has been critical with the loss of Lucas as has that of backup PG Korie Lucious.
Lucious is cat quick and may be the biggest challenge Butler has had to handle at the defensive end because of his ability to beat guys off of the dribble. The Spartans love to drive and kick out for jumpers and have the kind of diverse team to do so.
Michigan State has always been a fantastic rebounding team…if they can own the boards against Butler it will be a big advantage as their offensive talent is not as polished as in years past.
The Spartans are just a game away again and all of their key contributors were on last year’s team as well.
That kind of experience is tough to compete with.
Bulldogs are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten
Bulldogs are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games
Bulldogs are 43-21-1 ATS in their last 65 non-conference games
Spartans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5
Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as an underdog
Free Bulldogs vs. Spartans CBB Pick
What an amazing story the Bulldogs are. Despite my lack of accuracy with them in the past I just can’t get see them extending their season against the Spartans. Tom Izzo has had amazing success at MSU at this level and his team should be ready to go.
I think it might have been better for Butler is this game was somewhere else as they seem to perform best when the deck is stacked against them.
Score prediction: Michigan State 67 – Butler 61
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