Midwest Region NCAA 2013 Tournament Betting: (6) Memphis Tigers vs. (3) Michigan State Spartans(6) Memphis vs. (3) Michigan State
Spread: MSU -5.5
M/L: MSU -265, MEM +225
Michigan State beat Valpo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as Derrick Nix had 23 points and 15 rebounds and Keith Appling scored 15 on 6-of-12 shooting. The Spartans came out hot in the first half land led Valparaiso by 17 at the half. The Spartans will find themselves 5.5 points favorites in Saturday afternoon’s matchup against the Memphis Tigers.
Memphis narrowly avoided falling to No. 11 seeded Saint Mary’s, but they were able to hold off a late game push by Matthew Dellavedova and the Gaels. Three Tigers scored in double figures: Adonis Thomas (12), Joe Jackson (14) and Tarik Black (12). The Tigers shot just 40.8 percent from the floor, but blocked 12 shots and had 9 steals, igniting a lot of easier buckets in transition, as Black shot 5-of-5 from the field in short range.
Jackson leads the Tigers in scoring with 13.7 points per game, but Thomas, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson all average double digits. The Tigers ranked No. 21 in the nation in scoring (75.9 points per game) and No. 4 in assists per game (17.2).
They’ve won their last seven games, and haven’t lost since their Feb 26 game against Xavier. The Tigers faced only one ranked opponent all season, but they beat Tennessee, Rice, Harvard and Tulane. Memphis finished the season 31-3 and did not lose a single game in Conference USA play.
Michigan State is led in scoring by Keith Appling’s 13.6 points per game, Appling also leads the team in assists with 3.5 per game. The 6’1″ junior has improved every year at MSU and this season is averaging a career high 10.7 shots per game in 33.6 minutes per game. Michigan State is 4-0 when Appling scores at least 20 points, and they are 11-2 when he scores at least 16 points.
6’10” junior forward Adreian Payne has been huge for the Spartans as well. Payne is averaging 11.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game over the last five MSU games and he’s averaged 10.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game on the season. The Spartans are 5-2 when Payne has a double-double.
Memphis Betting Trends: OVER is 10-3 in last 13 NCAA tournament games, OVER is 6-2 in Memphis’ last 8 Saturday games.