(3) Texas Tech vs. (2) Michigan
Time: 8:40 PM CT (CBS)
Spread: MIC -1.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Michigan Wolverines obliterated #15 seeded Montana 74-55 in the first round to advance to face Florida in the Round of 32. Michigan went 29-6 this season with a 3rd place regular season finish in the Big Ten, posting a 15-5 mark in its conference. The Wolverines get it done with defense—it has the No. 2 defense in the country, holding opponents to just 58.3 points per game. Michigan averages a quite respectable 70.8 itself and has an impressive win differential of positive-12.5. Michigan lost its season finale to Michigan State 60-65, but prior to that, it had won four of its previous five, with the lone loss in that another to the Spartans.
Ignas Brazdeikis leads the Wolverines in scoring at 15 points per game. Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews each average about 12 points per game, and Matthews gets five boards a game as a guard. Brazdeikis is a major three-point threat at 41 percent, and he attempted 134 on the season. Poole is a 37 percent three-point shooter and took 191. Michigan takes the three at a 35.1 percent clip and attempted 757 on the season. The team also does a great job of taking care of the basketball, as it averaged just 8.9 turnovers per game this season.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated Northern Kentucky 72-57 in the opening round. Texas Tech limited the Norse to just 37 percent shooting while forcing it into 17 turnovers. Conversely, the Red Raiders had just 11 turnovers while shooting 52.8 percent from the field in the win. Jarrett Culver had a huge game, shooting 10 of 17 from the field and 3 of 5 from three en route to a game-high 29 points. The Red Raiders did struggle at the free throw line, though it had little meaning in the game— just 10 of 17 as a team, and that is something to keep an eye on if this game is as close as oddsmakers expect it to be. The Raiders may have trouble closing out if it has a lead in the final minutes.
Culver led Texas Tech in scoring on the season with 18.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. Davide Moretti was No. 2 in scoring at 11.5 points per game, and the Red Raiders get 10.9 points from guard Matt Mooney. Moretti is a real flame thrower with a 46.4 percent three-point mark, and he attempted 138 this season. The Red Raiders took just 631 threes as a team, but it connected on nearly 37 percent of those. Texas Tech averages 12.4 turnovers per game, but it does a great job forcing them as well—The Red Raiders averaged 12.3 blocks/steals per game, with Mooney leading the team in thefts (1.8 steals per game). Ultimately, this second round matchup should be one of the best, with just a 4-point spread and plenty of reasons to believe Buffalo’s offense could result in an upset. The Red Raiders will need to be on guard against one of the best three-point shooting teams in the field.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):