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The Davidson Wildcats will face the Michigan State Spartans for the third time ever in this First Round matchup.
Michigan State crushed Davidson in the first two matchups, but Davidson could get revenge and win this one.
The Davidson Wildcats are one of the best teams from the Group of Five conferences. They lost two of their first three games this season but went on a 15-game winning streak after that. They finished the season with only six losses and as the Atlantic 10 regular season champions.
Davidson has a great offense that scores 75.6 points per game. They have four players (Foster Loyer, Hyunjung Lee, Luka Brajkovic, and Michael Jones) scoring over ten points a game. Foster Loyer is Davidson’s leading scorer.
Interestingly, Loyer played three seasons at Michigan State, but he will now face them in March. Loyer is an outstanding shooter and averages 16.3 points per game on 45.5% shooting.
Loyer is joined in the backcourt by Hyunjung Lee. Lee is a 6’7” Japanese guard that scores 16 points per game. He is not much of a passer, but he grabs 6.0 rebounds a game.
The Michigan State Spartans have a history of basketball excellence but struggled this year in conference play. They went 11-9 against conference opponents and only beat one ranked Big Ten team.
The Spartans do not have one prolific scorer but score 72.1 points per game. Their leading scorer, Gabe Brown, scores 11.4 points per game, but no other player averages over ten points a game.
Part of the reason the Spartans score over 70 points a game is their strong ball movement. Guards Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard both average over four assists a game, and the Spartans average 15.8 team assists.
The Spartans struggle on defense and give up 68.4 points per game. Many people expect them to win this game, but I am not one of them. The Wildcats will pull out this victory behind their strong guard play and go to the Round of 32.
Davidson beats Michigan State 67-64. Davidson covers, Under 141 points.
|Davidson Wildcats||Head-to-Head||Michigan State Spartans|
|Bob McKillop||Head Coach||Mike Izzo|
|27-6 (15-3, 1st in Atlantic 10)||Standing||22-12 (11-9, 7th in Big Ten)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|Foster Loyer (16.3)||PPG||Gabe Brown (11.4)|
|Luka Brajkovic (7.2)||RPG||Marcus Bingham Jr. (6.1)|
|Foster Loyer (3.3)||APG||AJ Hoggard (4.9)|
|Michael Jones (1.0)||SPG||Tyson Walker (1.0)|
|Luka Brajkovic (1.1)||BPG||Marcus Bingham Jr. (2.2)|
|Luka Brajkovic (.576)||FG%||Julius Marble II (.614)|
|Foster Loyer (.445)||3P%||Tyson Walker (.493)|
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The Davidson Wildcats have a tough First Round matchup in the Michigan State Spartans. They have to focus on creating turnovers and grabbing rebounds.
The Wildcats are a guard-heavy team. Even though they lack size, they play solid defense and only give up 65.8 points per game. However, they do not force many turnovers; they only average 4.7 steals a game.
They need to be more active on defense and swipe the ball away from Michigan State. This should not be too difficult; they are playing a Spartans squad that gives the ball up over 13 times a game.
One of Davidson’s weaknesses is rebounding. They only average 34.2 rebounds per game and only have one player, Luka Brajkovic, grabbing over seven rebounds a game. They need to rebound as a team and not let Michigan State grab offensive rebounds
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The Michigan State Spartans can win this game, but they have to come out with intensity. They need to focus on limiting turnovers and riding the hot hand.
The Spartans give up the ball a lot; they average 13.1 turnovers a game. Michigan State needs to be smart and not give up the ball. If they are smart with the ball, they will give themselves more scoring opportunities.
Michigan State does not have a star or an incredible player. Since they lack an offensive leader, any player can step up in any game. They need to ride the hot hand and keep feeding the hot player.
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Foster Loyer has been critical to the Wildcats’ success this season. The 6’0” junior guard averages 16.3 points on 45.5% field goal shooting, 44.5% three-point shooting, and 93.3% free-throw shooting.
Loyer is an incredibly efficient shooter and runs the Davidson offense. He is the key player because he goes above and beyond and has led Davidson to one of their most successful seasons in a while.
Loyer does not need to change the way he plays in this game. He has to stick to what he knows and lead this team.
Gabe Brown has a similar game to Foster Loyer. He does not score as much, but he shoots similarly well.
Brown averages 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. He needs to become a floor general in this game and run the offense. He needs to make sure everything is running efficiently on both sides. If he does, Michigan State will win the game.
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|Davidson Wildcats vs Michigan State Spartans Information|
|What||Davidson Wildcats vs Michigan State Spartans|
|Where||Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, South Carolina|
|When||Friday, March 18, 9:40 PM EST|
|How to Watch||CBS|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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