Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Michigan St. Spartans – CBB March Madness Final Four Preview
Saturday 4/6 8:49 PM (ET),
U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, MN)
Texas Tech makes their first ever Final Four appearance in school history on Saturday night. The Red Raiders will face off with the Tom Izzo-led Michigan State Spartans, a team that Izzo has now led to the Final Four on eight separate occasions.
Saturday’s late night contest will be a competitive test of will between big men fighting for positioning on the low block. Texas Tech and Michigan State both rank within the top three of the nation in 2-pt field goal defense. The two teams hold a collective record of 27-2 SU in their last 29 combined games.
Michigan State holds the edge in overall offensive output, averaging 5+ points per game greater than Texas Tech on the season. The Spartans own a clear advantage on the boards as well. Michigan State brings in 40.4 rebounds a game compared to the Red Raiders’ 34.2.
So if Michigan State is the better scoring team, and brings in more rebounds, how does Texas Tech stand a chance? Texas Tech has already upset the likes of Michigan and Gonzaga on their way to the greatest season in program history. The driving force for Tech’s success has been their stingy defense. The Red Raiders surrender just 59 ppg, the third fewest average in all of college basketball. To piggyback on their defensive prowess, Texas Tech is also a menace in the turnover department, ranking 14th nationally by forcing nearly 16 turnovers a game. Michigan State on the other hand, ranks 343rd out of 353 eligible teams in opponent’s turnovers per game.
Look for the Red Raiders to continue their suffocating ways on the defensive side of the court. If Davide Moretti can remain hot from behind the arc (.625% from three over his past two contests), Tech has a great chance of pulling off the upset.
Score prediction: Texas Tech wins 67-64
Texas Tech is 11-3 ATS over their last 14 contests, and owns a better ATS record on the road than in their home arena this season. The Red Raiders have gone undefeated ATS in this year’s tournament, while also holding 7-2 SU record on the year in neutral site game.
Texas Tech’s stingy defense has been a godsend for those frequenting betting sites in the month of March, with the Red Raiders hitting the UNDER in three of their last four games. In fact, both teams have gone UNDER in four of their last five tournament games.
Head to Head
It may be hard to believe, but this will be the first meeting between Texas Tech and Michigan State on the hardwood, as they have never previously matched up with one another.
Texas Tech is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
Texas Tech is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 19 of Texas Tech’s last 27 neutral site games.
Michigan State is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
Michigan State is 38-18-2 ATS in their last 58 games with a winning SU record.
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Michigan State’s last 6 games.