This Sunday, the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans will take the No. 11 Syracuse Orange in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The matchup features two Hall of Fame coaches in Jim Boeheim and Tom Izzo.
Preview: Michigan State, the regular season Big Ten champion, was awarded a 3-seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. The Spartans, in their first round game, held off Bucknell, 82-78, behind big games from both Miles Bridges and Joshua Langford.
Syracuse, meanwhile, has had a much harder road. The Orange, which finished 8-10 in the ACC, was the last team selected for this year's tournament. But just like two years ago, they've gotten hot. Syracuse has knocked off Arizona State and TCU en route to a second round matchup with the Spartans.
Date: Sunday, March 18
Time: 2:40 PM ET
TV Channel: CBS
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce
Opening Betting Line: Michigan State by 8.5 via 5Dimes.
Prediction: At this point, it's fair to say that it doesn't really seem to matter what seed Syracuse gets in the NCAA Tournament. If the Orange is in, it's dangerous. Remember - two years ago, as a 10-seed, Syracuse reached the Final Four.
This year's SU team doesn't have the same level of offensive firepower, but they're starting to play well at the right time. Both Marek Dolezaj and Oshae Brissett have been key. If Tyus Battle is shooting well, they can beat anyone.
That being said, Michigan State was far more consistent this year and has more talent. Syracuse likely won't have an answer for Miles Bridges, who is one of the most dynamic players in the country. MSU has the better starting five. They also shoot it well from three - which is the ultimate zone killer.
Tom Izzo can't be thrilled with the matchup here, but we're going to take the Spartans to eke this one out. Michigan State by 5.