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TOC Staff Picks: MSU vs. LSU

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With a spot in the Elite 8 on the line, who will come out on top? See what our writers think.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan State vs Minnesota Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State enters its game against LSU as six point favorites, and I think most people believe this game will be tight. With a trip to the Elite 8 on the line, can the Spartans come out on top? See what our writers think.

Ryan O’Bleness

MSU 73, LSU 63

LSU is the kind of team that can cause problems for Michigan State — long, athletic, strong on the offensive glass, good free throw shooting team, and most concerningly, they cause turnovers. Still, I think MSU is the more experienced team, the more talented team, and no dig at Tony Benford who is doing a great job as interim, but MSU is clearly the better-coached team. LSU is also dealing with a lot of pressure and adversity. The Spartans are dealing with the pressure of making their first Elite Eight game in four years. I think it will be a closely contested game for the most part, but the Tigers have been an awful second half team so far in the tourney. I think MSU closes it out in the final four minutes and ends up with a 10-point victory.

Matt Hoeppner

Michigan State 73, LSU 68

The Spartans come away with a tough win over an athletic and talented LSU squad. They are the better defensive team, more experienced, and better coached. MSU will limit their turnovers and not allow too many second chance opportunities for the Tigers, negated their biggest strengths. Down the stretch big shots from Matt McQuaid and Cassius Winson will carry the Spartans into the Elite Eight, and an opportunity to play for another banner to hang in the rafters of the Breslin Center.

Zach Manning

MSU 75, LSU 70

I expect this game to be close, and it wouldn’t surprise me if LSU had a lead at the half. However, the Spartans have been very good in the second half throughout the season, and I think that will be the case again. The Spartans will trail by seven at the half but will play smart, solid basketball in the second half to get by the Tigers. Cassius Winston leads the game in scoring with 24 points.

Matt Sheehan

MSU 67, LSU 66

Did everyone like that stress-free game? Yeah, it was nice, wasn’t it? Well get ready for the opposite here against a team that is athletic and forces a lot of turnovers. Now, the good thing for MSU is that our Spartans hold a good defense of their own. And I’m also tickled by the fact that LSU isn’t really a dynamic 3-point shooting team (knock on wood).

Samuel Tyler

MSU 84, LSU 72

High scoring first half. Izzo not pleased with defensive execution or rebounding. Second half blitz from MSU in the first 4 minutes puts us ahead by 15, we cruise from there. Winston and Ward lead the way.

David Harns

Michigan State 75, Louisiana State 70

MSU finds itself down by double digits at the half after a slow start. An Izzo half-time group hug makes the difference and the Spartans move on to the Elite 8.

Kyle Thele

MSU 72, LSU 64

At no point will this game feel comfortable, and I fully expect to see MSU down by 6 at some point. But LSU is finally going to miss the leadership that comes from a fully-empowered head coach and will falter down the stretch. Tillman will have another big game, as will Ward. Henry will finish with a stat-stuffer game, something like 10-7-5.