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March Madness final handicapping

Twice in the past two years, UNC has been a double-digit favorite against Michigan State. They covered the spread easily each time.

They only have to cover 7.5 points on the Final 4 odds list tonight

No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (31-6) vs. No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels -7.5 (33-4) O/U 152.5 9:21 PM ET

March Madness final odds at online sportsbook Bovada show the Tar Heels as heavy favorites with a total of 152.5. Of note, the Tar Heels are averaging nearly 90 points per game, which could imperil this total early in the game.

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The Spartans are again the underdog in this game, as they were against UCONN in the Final Four, but it may help that they have a bit of a home court advantage, as the MSU campus is only 90 miles away from Ford Field. Each team is on a 5-0 ATS run through the tournament.

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This game will feature the tough nosed defensive Spartans against the high scoring team of the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels are averaging 90.2 ppg this season and have four possible NBA first round picks in their starting lineup, while the Spartans are only allowing 62.9 ppg this season and only feature two players that average in double figures in scoring.

The Tar Heels have many scoring options, as they can kill teams down low and from the perimeter. They are led by last year’s player of the year F Tyler Hansbrough (20.8 ppg) and G Ty Lawson (16.5 ppg). The Tar Heels have five players that are averaging in double figures in scoring.

For the Spartans to pull off the upset tonight they will have to slow the tempo of the game and hit the boards hard. Big 10 player of the year G Kalin Lucas (14.7 ppg) has to have a good scoring game and play good perimeter defense against the stacked backcourt of the Tar Heels.

The Spartans' frontcourt of C Goran Suton (9.9 ppg 8.1 rpg) and Raymar Morgan (10.4 ppg 5.4 ppg) has to play good interior defense and provide the scoring inside. Raymar had a great game in the Spartans win over UCONN going for 18 points and 9 boards and he has to repeat that performance tonight.

The Spartans have a deep team and in their win over the Huskies reserve guards Durrell Summers and Korie Lucious combined for 21 points.

The Spartans have to play tough and not allow the tar Heels to get out on the break and score easy buckets. If they can hold the Tar Heels to a half court offensive set, they have a chance to win this game.

If the Tar Heels can score and force an up-tempo game, they should win this game easily.

These two teams played earlier this year in North Carolina and the Tar Heels crushed the Spartans in that game 98-63, which was, by far, the worst loss for MSU this season.

The Tar Heels seemed destined to win the National Championship, but the Spartans will give them a tough game and play great defense. The Tar Heels will come out on top, but it will not be easy and they will not cover the spread.

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