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TOC Staff Picks: MSU vs. Texas Tech

MSU is back in the Final Four and will play Texas Tech. Can the Spartans win and play for a title? See what our writers think.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

When the bracket was released, I’m not sure many people had Michigan State vs. Texas Tech as their Final Four matchup. However, it should be an excellent game with defense playing a big role. Who will head to the national championship? See what our writers think.

Kyle Thele

MSU 70, Texas Tech 61

Texas Tech’s defense is that good and it will cause problems for MSU. But in the last two games, they have seemingly figured out their turnover problems against two strong defensive teams. The Spartans are going to eat inside and put pressure on Tech to find offense in places other than Jarrett Culver. MSU is the best all-around team Tech has seen this year and it will be too much down the stretch.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 61, Texas Tech 53

I can see this one becoming a grind-it-out, low-scoring game against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders look to slow the game down/control the tempo, and their menacing defense and shot-blocking prowess is a concern. Similar to Michigan State, The Texas Tech players are tough as nails and aren’t afraid to get physical, draw charges, etc. They also have shown the ability to make some tough contested shots. It’s not an accident they’ve gone this far, and I correctly predicted them to reach the Final Four. However, MSU should be able to bully the Red Raiders inside with Xavier Tillman and Nick Ward. Texas Tech lacks depth with their bigs, and it should be an area the Spartans take advantage of. MSU should be able to dominate the glass, at it ranks as the No. 4 team in rebound margin in the entire NCAA, while TTU is just 108th. I also just think Michigan State is the better team and is playing such cohesive basketball together right now that there is no way I can pick against them. But I expect a hard-nosed, physical battle all game long.

Samuel Tyler

MSU 72, Texas Tech 65

Ward goes for 20, Winston with another dominant performance. (Frankly, I could see us winning this going away, but this is my conservative prediction).

Zach Manning

MSU 66, Texas Tech 63

Like most, I don’t see many points being scored in this game because of how good these two teams are defensively. However, Cassius Winston has come up clutch every time MSU has needed him to, and I think that continues in this game. The Big Ten Player of the Year hits some key shots down the stretch and sends the Spartans to the national championship.

David Harns

MSU 73, Texas Tech 60

I shouldn’t be allowed to predict this game since I incorrectly predicted Duke to beat MSU (someone had to absorb the Graham Couch jinx, and I was happy to do so). But with Goliath out of the way, I think the Spartans don’t let up and put on a good show while dispatching Texas Tech. This will set up a game for all the marbles vs Virginia on Monday night.

Matt Hoeppner

MSU 72, Texas Tech 64

The Spartans are as experienced as anyone in the country when it comes to dealing with top rated defenses, and they have a pretty good defense of their own. I like MSU to be able to get the job done on both ends of the floor, while their supporting cast out duels that of the Red Raiders. The Spartans move on for another shot at Izzo’s second title.