No. 10 USC Trojans vs No. 2 Michigan State Spartans
- Updated: March 21, 2009
NCAA Tournament Preview
No. 10 USC Trojans (22-12) vs. No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (27-6)
Sunday, 5:40PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Michigan State -4
The USC Trojans continued to stay hot in their opening round convincing victory over Boston College. USC won the last 5 games of the season wrapping it up with their first ever Pac-10 Tournament Title and that momentum has apparently carried over into the NCAA Tournament. USC completely dominated Boston College beating the Eagles 72-55. They will now take on the number 2 seeded Michigan State Spartans in a battle to go to the sweet sixteen. Michigan State came away with a solid victory over Robert Morris in the opening round 77-62. The Spartans are one of the favorites to have a chance to win the Midwest bracket, but USC will have the chance to bust everyone’s brackets if somehow they have not been already.
Even though Michigan State is the number 2 seed of the Tournament they still have a very difficult path in their bracket. If the Spartans are to manage a victory over the Trojans like they are expected, Michigan State will still have to deal possibly Kansas in the next round of the sweet sixteen. However, the Spartans must be focused on the Trojans considering they are playing extremely well right now. Michigan State forward Raymar Morgan led the Spartan scoring attack over Robert Morris with 16 points. Freshmen forward Draymond Green had the best scoring effort of his short career as he also added with 16 points. Michigan State would love nothing more than to have some unexpected faces like Green step up big during the big dance. Kalin Lucas has been the leader of the Spartan scoring attack all season and probably is due for a big night considering he has been rather quietly effective of late. Michigan State made a sweet sixteen appearance last season before losing to runner up National Champions Memphis. The Spartans will look to get back to the sweet sixteen by trying to take down the USC Trojans on Sunday.
The Trojans come into the second round of the NCAA Tournament as one of the hottest teams in college basketball. Fresh off their dominating win over Boston College, USC will be trying to make it back to the sweet sixteen as they did back in 2006. The Trojans were very impressive in their win over the Eagles on Friday. Taj Gibson led the scoring effort in a big way for USC. Gibson did not miss a single shot from the floor going an amazing 10-10 from field goal range in their match-up with Boston College. Gibson only missed shot come from the stripe where he ended up going 4 for 5 on the night resulting in 29 points. Dwight Lewis aided the red hot Trojans offense with 20 points as he continues to play well down the stretch. As a show of expect to how well USC has been playing the no. 10 seed Trojans will enter their match-up with no. 2 Michigan State as only 4 point underdogs. The only question left to be answered is will the Trojans momentum continue to roll when they take on a highly rated Spartans team.
Michigan State should be the better rebounding team heading into the contest averaging right at 40 rebounds per game which ranks them inside the top 30 in America this season. Senior Goran Suton pulled down a very impressive 17 rebounds in their opening round game with Robert Morris and could make a big impact on the boards again. However, USC has shot better than the Spartans as a team on average this season not to mention they have been shooting the ball even better over the last couple of games. Over the last 6 games, the Trojans have knocked down an amazing 52% as a team from the floor and has yet to show any signs of slowing down. This game has the making to be a grudge match that could go right down to the wire.
Pick – This will be a tough pick, but we will go against what most are predicting and take USC in the upset. Take USC +4
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