NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Best Bets: East Region (Thursday)

Mar 21, 2023 - 4:00 PM

The East Region has been absolutely chaotic in the NCAA Tournament.

The Purdue Boilermakers were the No. 1 seed. They lost to Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the Tournament. In Round 32, Marquette, the No. 2 seed, lost to Michigan State.

Therefore, both top seeds have been eliminated from the Tournament.

We’re left with two games in the East Region for Sweet 16. Let’s break those two games to see which teams will play in the Elite Eight.

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Kansas State vs. Michigan State

The Kansas State Wildcats have been playing super loose throughout the Tournament. They’ve enjoyed themselves and will now enjoy a trip to Madison Square Garden to play in the Sweet 16 game against Michigan State.

This is going to be a close and tight game.

Kansas State is usually weak on the glass. The Wildcats have allowed 29.8% of offensive rebounds and were absolutely dominated on the glass by Kentucky in the Round of 32. Yet, Kansas State found a way to win thanks to their two senior leaders.

Meanwhile, the Spartans aren’t incredibly active on the offensive glass. But they’ll more than likely have success and earn more second chances in this game.

On the other hand, Kansas State usually turns the ball over 19.9% of the time. However, Michigan State isn’t very aggressive at forcing steals. The Wildcats have hit only 33.6% from downtown and 52.7% from inside the arc. They’ll be worse from downtown but better from inside the arc.

Don’t expect Michigan State to continue to miss wide-open three-point shots as they did against Marquette. But think about it, Michigan State shot so poorly from three over the first two games in the Tournament and still won. Imagine what will happen when the shots fall.

Take Michigan State -2.

Bet: Michigan State -2 (-110)

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Tennessee vs. Florida Atlantic

The Tennessee Volunteers surprised everyone on Saturday, earning a major victory over Duke without Zakai Ziegler. The Vols were physical and tough. The defense was admirable, and the offense hit shots that they normally don’t hit.

If that’s the Tennessee we’re going to get the rest of the way, the Vols will be incredibly hard to beat.

Florida Atlantic had multiple droughts trying to score the ball against Fairleigh Dickinson. It’s going to get ugly on the offensive end for the Owls against Tennessee. They won’t be able to match the physicality with Tennessee.

Tennessee will foul at a high rate but Florida Atlantic also doesn’t get to the foul line at a high rate. They’ve also shot 71.5%, which isn’t a ridiculous number.

The Vols should have major success on the offensive glass and if shots are going to fall at a higher rate, I’ve got Tennessee earning a five-point cover.

Bet: Tennessee -5 (-110)

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