HomeCollege BasketballNo. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 8 Mississippi State: NCAA Tournament West...

    No. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 8 Mississippi State: NCAA Tournament West Region March Madness Preview and Prediction

    A preview and prediction for Michigan State vs. Mississippi State in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

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    Michigan State vs. Mississippi State March Madness Preview and Prediction

    In the No. 9 vs. No. 8 matchup in the NCAA Tournament West Region, the Michigan State Spartans face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in first-round action.

    Make VSiN your home for the duration of the NCAA Tournament and beyond. Take advantage of our college basketball betting tools and previews and predictions on every single March Madness game. We have College Basketball Betting Splits from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated Vegas College Basketball Odds, College Basketball Odds from other states, College Basketball Matchup Data, and more.

     

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    How to Watch Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

    When: 12:15 pm ET on Thursday, March 21st

    Where: Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

    Watch: CBS

    Odds for Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

    (odds current at time of publish)

    Spread: Michigan State -1.5

    Total: 128.5

    DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | Michigan State vs. Mississippi State Matchup

    West Region No. 9 Michigan State Spartans

    Michigan State’s 19-14 record is obviously pretty disgusting, but this is a top-10 team when it comes to defensive efficiency and the rotation is filled with players with experience playing in March. Tyson Walker is still the point guard for the Spartans, and he’s a guy that has taken Michigan State deep in the tournament before. He’s a dangerous player on both ends of the floor, and A.J. Hoggard, Malik Hall and Jaden Akins are all familiar faces that can play. So, even though Michigan State has some issues offensively, and wasn’t all that reliable in close games, you can’t rule out another run. This is the NCAA tournament. Bet against Tom Izzo at your own risk. 

    West Region No. 8 Mississippi State Bulldogs

    Mississippi State’s two SEC tournament wins, with one being over Tennessee, really helped the Bulldogs find their way into the field. But looking at the statistical profile of this team, they absolutely belonged in the tournament. Mississippi State is a top-20 team when it comes to adjusted defensive efficiency, and the Bulldogs are a top-10 team when it comes to defending the 3-point line. That ferocity on the defensive end gives Mississippi State a chance against anyone. And it’s not like this team can’t play offense. The Bulldogs aren’t a great 3-point shooting team, but Josh Hubbard is a good perimeter scorer and Tolu Smith is a tough cover around the basket.

    Michigan State vs. Mississippi State Preview & Prediction

    Some felt like Michigan State’s presence in this year’s NCAA Tournament field was up for some debate, but their seeding says otherwise. Usually teams get punished a little more for struggling down the stretch, and Michigan State did, as they lost five of their final seven games, but the close loss to Purdue in Minneapolis was at least a somewhat promising development.

    Mississippi State also ended the regular season on a low note with four straight losses, but they played three Quadrant 1 games and lost in overtime to South Carolina at home. They had a resounding 17-point win over Tennessee in the SEC Tournament to beat the Vols for the second time before bowing out against Auburn.

    These two teams feel very similar. Both have questionable offensive profiles, but have excelled on defense. Michigan State is better from 3 and Mississippi State is better from 2, but, ironically, it is the Bulldogs who take a lot of 3s and the Spartans who don’t. Sparty also takes better care of the ball, though that might just be a Big Ten thing, where very few teams play pressure defense. 

    Both teams do a nice job of packing it in defensively to limit shot attempts at the rim. Mississippi State was better about getting the ball inside, though, and shot selection is a big part of my handicapping. Michigan State took a lot of mid-range jumpers. Mississippi State did not. The Bulldogs were also the better team on the glass. I think I prefer the south’s version of MSU to the Midwest’s version of MSU here, but it would be hard to see either team progress past North Carolina.

    Estimated Score: Michigan State 67, Mississippi State 65

    For expert predictions, go to our college basketball best bets page.

    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke is the Managing Editor of VSiN.com and has spent well over a decade in the sports betting content creation space. He has been with VSiN since 2021 and covers a wide range of sports, along with hosting the VSiN Daily Baseball Bets podcast.

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