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Izzo's Spartans Offer Potential Upset in Matchup With Kansas

Sound the upset alert for Kansas. Not only does Michigan State’s Tom Izzo have one of the best track records in the NCAA tournament of any active coach (47-18 all-time), he and the Spartans have historically owned the Jayhawks. The highly pedigreed Spartans had their worst regular season in six years and came into the tournament cold but easily handled Jim Larranaga and the Miami Hurricanes in the opening round.

SHARK BITES
  • Michigan State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games against Kansas and 6-1 ATS in its last 7.
  • Kansas is 24-6 SU in its last 30 games against the Big Ten.
  • Michigan State is 1-3 SU in its last 4 games against teams with winning records.

Josh Jackson, a former No. 1 recruit of Michigan State and a Detroit native, will be one of the main weapons for Kansas along with Frank Mason, as the two Jayhawks combined for 39 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds in their first-round game. Michigan State will rely on an excellent recruiting class of freshmen that accounted for almost all of the Spartans’ points in their opening-round victory.

At the time of writing, there had been no line posted for the game but a handicap of seven points or so for the Spartans would make sense. It’s tough to count out a team with such a brilliant coach who’s proven he can beat anyone in March Madness and who’s assembled a group that should challenge for a national title in the near future. This should be a closer game than the seeding might imply.

Yes, Kansas is one of the best teams in the country but it’s losses like the one the Jayhawks suffered at the hands of TCU in the Big 12 tournament that make me worried they could be making an early exit. Give me the Spartans with the points in this spot.

Michigan State Spartans vs Kansas Jayhawks Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Kansas Jayhawks currently sport a 29-4 record overall in NCAA basketball action, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 12-18-1 ATS. The Michigan State Spartans are 20-14 and 18-15 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Kansas Jayhawks produce a 15-16 OVER/UNDER record on the season, while the Michigan State Spartans have gone 16-17 against the totals betting line.

The power rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the Kansas Jayhawks rated this week at No. 117 and the Michigan State Spartans sitting at No. 95.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Kansas's No. 13-ranked offense, averaging 83.24 PPG, against a Spartans defense that ranks No. 59 at 68.06 PPG. The Jayhawks field goal percentage has averaged 48.93% so far, more than the Spartans marksmen have achieved on the year, 47.06% per game.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Michigan State cruised to victory on Friday, running Miami out of the gym and running up a 78-58 score at BOK Center.

The Jayhawks blew out UC Davis on Friday, running up a 20+ point victory in a 100-62 win at BOK Center.

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