The 2023 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 is right around the corner, with an exciting matchup between the No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats and the No. 7 MSU Spartans. The East Region semifinal is set to take place at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City on Thursday, March 23, with tip-off at 6:30 p.m. ET. TBS will be broadcasting the game live.
Betting odds have the Michigan State Spartans as the slight favorites at -1, with a total of 137.5 points. The moneyline is -120 for the Spartans and +100 for the Wildcats.
Kansas State’s Journey to the Sweet 16
The Kansas State Wildcats, with an overall record of 25-9 and an 11-7 run in the Big 12, started their NCAA Tournament journey by defeating the No. 14 Montana State Bobcats 77-65. In the second round, the Wildcats were victorious over the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats, finishing the game at 75-69. They currently hold a KenPom rating of 22 Overall, with a 49 Offense and 19 Defense.
Keyontae Johnson leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.7 points per game. The Wildcats managed to secure their second-round victory, even though they were out-rebounded by 20. Markquis Nowell was a standout player in the game against Kentucky, scoring 27 points and delivering nine assists.
Michigan State’s Path to the Sweet 16
The Michigan State Spartans, with a 21-112 overall record and an 11-8 run in the B1G, started their NCAA Tournament journey by defeating the No. 10 USC Trojans 72-62. In the second round, the Spartans came out on top against the No. 2 Marquette Golden Eagles, with a final score of 69-60. They currently hold a KenPom rating of 32 Overall, with a 31 Offense and 40 Defense.
Tyson Walker is the leading scorer for the Spartans, averaging 14.5 points per game. Head coach Tom Izzo, in his 28th season at the helm, will be leading his 15th team to the Sweet 16. In the game against Marquette, Walker scored 22 points, and the team held Marquette to just 38% from the field.
The Clash of the Titans: Spartans vs. Wildcats
The showdown between the Spartans and the Wildcats at Madison Square Garden promises to be electrifying, with New York natives Tyson Walker and Markquis Nowell going head-to-head. The question remains: can Kansas State slow down the dynamic duo of Walker and A.J. Hoggard? Conversely, how will Michigan State handle Nowell and Keyontae Johnson? Coach Tom Izzo has a history of neutralizing star players, as he did with Marquette’s All-American guard Tyler Kolek. It’s safe to assume he’ll have a plan for this game as well.
ESPN Expert Predictions
ESPN’s Borzello predicts a close match, with Michigan State coming out on top at 72-70. Gasaway, on the other hand, sees a slim Kansas State victory, with a final score of 74-73. Medcalf believes that whichever team’s star player shines brightest will propel their team to the Elite Eight, predicting a Kansas State win with a score of 76-73. (Source)
With the stage set for a thrilling game between these two talented teams, fans across the nation eagerly await the outcome. Will it be the Wildcats or the Spartans who advance to the Elite Eight.
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