This game was supposed to be a rematch between Gonzaga and Duke, but Michigan State and Texas Tech had other ideas. Both teams pulled off huge upsets of the number 1 seed in their region to reach Minneapolis and the 2019 Final Four. Michigan State is no stranger to playing on the game’s biggest stage, but this is the first ever Final Four appearance for Texas Tech.
Michigan State has won nine straight games dating back to the end of the regular season. The Spartans were Big Ten regular season and Big Ten Tournament champions this season. Texas Tech came out of nowhere to win the Big 12 regular season championship this season and came into the NCAA Tournament as a three-seed. Michigan State is a -2.5 point favorite in this game.
Winston Leading Spartans
Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston is a first-team All-American selection this season, and for good reason. Winston leads the team with 18.9 points and 7.6 assists per game and has kept the team together despite numerous injuries throughout the season. The junior is making over 40 percent of his shots from the three-point line but does a great job of running the show for his teammates. If the Spartans are going to solve the Texas Tech defense, it will be Winston figuring it out.
The Spartans have also been getting great production from Nick Ward and Kenny Goins throughout the season. Ward is pouring in 13.2 points per game, and Goins has chipped in with 8.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. This isn’t the most talented Michigan State team that Tom Izzo has ever had, but they have incredible toughness and chemistry.
Texas Tech Can Defend
Texas Tech is one of the hardest teams to score on in the country, and they are allowing just 59.0 points per game. The Red Raiders did give up 69 points to Gonzaga in their Elite 8 game victory but held Michigan to just 44 in the game before that. Forward Tariq Owens is a terrific rim protector for Chris Beard’s team and is averaging 2.4 blocks per game. If Texas Tech wins this game, it will be on the strength of their defense.
Even though the Red Raiders struggle to score at times; they do have an elite offensive talent in Jarrett Culver. Culver leads the team with 18.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, but will be facing a Michigan State team determined to stop him. The Red Raiders will need Davide Moretti and Matt Mooney to provide some additional scoring from the perimeter to win this game. Texas Tech does average 73.0 points per game, but offense isn’t their strength.
Spartans Move on to Title Game
This should be a tight game throughout, and neither team will be willing to give up many points on defense. The difference in this game will likely be the experience and greatness of Cassius Winston. Texas Tech has a terrific team defense, but Winston has been carving up teams all season long. Bet the Michigan State Spartans -2.5 to beat the Texas Tech Red Raiders in this game.