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Texas Tech vs. Michigan State - Final Four picks and betting tips

March 30, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders center Norense Odiase (32) scores a basket against Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second half in the championship game of the west regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

MARCH MADNESS: FINAL FOUR

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Michigan State Spartans

A funny thing happened on the way to Duke and Gonzaga meeting in the Final Four Saturday. Two teams that played better team basketball without athletic individual superstars – Michigan State and Texas Tech – denied both No. 1 seeds a trip to Minneapolis and they now square off to move one win away from a national title.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Red Raiders have brought a smothering defense that contests every shot and every pass on a tournament run that has held two of the highest scoring teams in the country (Gonzaga and Buffalo) to 20 points below their season averages.

Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver has done it all for the Red Raiders in the tournament, scoring 86 points with 27 rebounds, 18 assists and nine steals, but the team has also big individual performances from the supporting cast along the way, from Matt Mooney to Davide Maretti to Tariq Owens.

Culver is the face of Texas Tech, but the unselfish team play, defensive pressure and assignment-sound role play is what has kept the Red Raiders rolling in the tournament.

Michigan State Spartans

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Spartans had dominated their first three games of the tournament, but needed to fight for 40 minutes to knock out Duke in the final minute of the East Region final, putting on its best all-around team performance of the tournament.

Cassius Winston has been dominant throughout the tournament with critical plays, averaging 19 points a game and adding 27 assists over the last three. The team has role players that all fill a certain need, whether it be rebounding, shooting 3-pointers or playing help defense. Winston has emerged as the star of the show this season and Xavier Tillman has stepped up big in the tournament, but few teams get the consistent contributions from all of their top six players that Michigan State does.

Texas Tech vs. Michigan State: By the Numbers

Texas Tech (30-6): Against the Spread (19-16-1); Over/Under 15-20-1 (42.9 percent over, 57.1 percent under); In the Tournament – Against the Spread (4-0), Over/Under (one over, three under); Michigan State (32-6): Against the Spread (27-11); Over/Under (15-23, 39.5 percent over, 60.5 percent under); In the Tournament – Against the Spread (3-1); Over/Under (one over, three under).

Texas Tech vs. Michigan State: Pick and Best Bets

Both teams pride themselves on playing team defense, having solid half-court offenses and dictating the pace of play. It could lead to some choppy exchanges where long stretches go by without points being scored, which will benefit those betting the under at 132 points.

But, when it comes down it, the in-game adjustments Tom Izzo, who is no stranger to the hype of the Final Four, will make against Texas Tech’s defense will put Michigan State into the championship game, with late free throws helping cover the 3-point spread.


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