Michigan State-Saint Louis Preview: Analysis, Prediction, Date and TV Tip Time, Point Spread, and Tickets

There are 16 “Round of 32” games on Saturday and Sunday as the most exciting weekend of the sports calendar continues. As we always do every March here at MSF, we try to cover you with previews, informed and reasoned predictions, and pertinent viewing info as soon as we can get it posted.

In this post, we preview the West Region matchup between #1 seed Michigan State and Rick Majerus’ 9th-seeded Billikens of Saint Louis.

Michigan State-Saint Louis Game Info

  • Seeds & Region: #1 Michigan State v #9 Saint Louis in West Region
  • Michigan State-Saint Louis Date: Sunday, 3/18
  • Michigan State-Saint Louis Tip Time: 2:45
  • Michigan State-Saint Louis Location: Columbus
  • Michigan State-Saint Louis TV: CBS
  • Michigan State-Saint Louis Announcers: Tim Brando and Mike Gminski
  • Michigan State-Saint Louis Point Spread: TBA
  • Tickets: Michigan State-Saint Louis Tickets
  • Tickets: West Regional Tickets in Phoenix


You may have heard that Guinness is going all-out to set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day party. Here is how you can participate AND throw your name in the hat to win a trip to Dublin.

More details below…

Michigan State-Saint Louis Analysis and Prediction

On Friday night, Saint Louis knocked off Memphis by seven points, while Michigan State used a big second half to blow out LIU Brooklyn. The Billikens were led by guard Kwamain Mitchell, who finished with 22 points and hit a number of clutch shots, and for Sparty, Draymond Green messed around and got a triple-double with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The matchup between the two teams will feature two of the nation’s best defensive units, as both the Spartans and Billikens are in the Top 10 in adjusted efficiency.

When Michigan State has the ball, there are a few things to keep an eye on.  First, Saint Louis ranks 31st in turnover rate, while the Spartans are in the middle of the pack, which means MSU guards Keith Appling, Brandon Wood, and Travis Trice will have to take good care of the basketball.

On the glass, Michigan State ranks 25th in offensive rebounding percentage and corrals nearly 37 percent of its own misses.  The Billikens rank in the Top 50 in defensive rebounding percentage, but they will have their hands full against the likes of Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne on the glass.

Finally, the one area where Saint Louis has been most vulnerable defensively is free throw rate, as they rank outside the Top 200 in that statistic.  The Spartans aren’t elite offensively in that regard, but they do boast a solid 39.1 mark for the year.  The Billikens don’t have a ton of big bodies inside to bang with Michigan State, so foul trouble to their bigs could spell trouble.

On the other end, field goal defense will be the key.  Michigan State finished the season in the Top 15 against both two- and three-pointers, while Saint Louis ended the year 59th in effective field goal percentage.  The Billikens take a relatively high percentage of their shots from beyond the arc, and they’ll need to find ways to get clean looks against a Michigan State team that allowed opponents to shoot just 29.2 percent from deep.  Because Saint Louis doesn’t have a high offensive rebounding percentage or free throw rate, the importance of their shooting is amplified.

In terms of individual matchups, Michigan State will need to find a way to contain Kwamain Mitchell off the dribble.  He was able to get into the lane at will versus Memphis, and he will provide a great test for Keith Appling on the defensive end.

The coaching matchup here is a great one too, with Tom Izzo and Rick Majerus matching wits on the sidelines.  You can be sure Majerus will do whatever he can to neutralize Draymond Green and force other players to beat them.

Ultimately, I think MSU’s toughness on the glass and their inside depth will be the difference, and Izzo will earn yet another trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

Predicted Winner: Michigan State


Do Tom Izzo and the Spartans have more March Magic up their sleeve this year? They'll need to overcome Rick Majerus' Billikens in the Round of 32 to keep dancing.

Michigan State Spartans Team Capsule

  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Record: 27-7 (13-5 conf)
  • Last 10 Games: 8-2
  • Record vs. Tournament Teams: 12-5
  • Wins vs. Tournament Teams: Florida State, Gonzaga, Indiana, Lehigh, Michigan, Ohio State (2), Purdue (2), Wisconsin (3)
  • Losses vs. Tournament Teams: Duke, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State
  • Player to Watch: Draymond Green (6’7” F, Sr.) – 16.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.0 bpg, 1.5 spg, 39.5 3P%

Michigan State Bottoms Line:

The Spartans lost their first two games to North Carolina and Duke, but they bounced back to tie for the Big Ten title and capped off the regular season with a win in the Big Ten Tournament.  With strong defense and relentless rebounding, this MSU team has two important characteristics of Tom Izzo’s best teams in his tenure in East Lansing. The Spartans are third in defensive efficiency and rank in the Top 25 in two-point defense, three-point defense, and defensive rebounding percentage.  On offense, the Spartans rank just outside of the Top 10 in overall efficiency and are 25th in offensive rebounding percentage.

Senior leader Draymond Green is the heart and soul of the Spartans.  He averages a double-double, leads the team in steals and blocks, and is second in assists.  Green has developed his game over his four-year career and hit nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc this season.  He has also played a role in the development of fellow frontcourt players Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne.  Nix has slimmed down and shoots over 55 percent from the field, while Payne also makes a high percentage.  Both guys also have strong rebounding percentages on both ends of the floor, and Payne has an impressive block percentage as well.  Sophomore Keith Appling has had a solid season in the backcourt, scoring over 11 points per game and leading the team in assists.  Valparaiso transfer Brandon Wood improved down the stretch and scored a season-high 21 points in the Big Ten Championship.  They need him to step up his scoring with freshman Branden Dawson out for the season, and the same goes for senior Austin Thornton who hits over 46 percent from beyond the arc.

Saint Louis Billikens Team Capsule

  • Conference: Atlantic 10
  • Record: 25-7 (12-4 conf)
  • Last 10 Games: 8-2
  • Record vs. Tournament Teams: 4-3
  • Wins vs. Tournament Teams: Saint Bonaventure, Vermont, Xavier (2)
  • Losses vs. Tournament Teams: New Mexico, Temple, Xavier
  • Player to Watch: Kwamain Mitchell (G, Sr.) – 12.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.3 spg

Saint Louis Bottoms Line:

Rick Majerus is going back to the Big Dance with the Billikens, who finished just behind for the A-10 Title.  Saint Louis is particularly strong on the defensive end, where they rank in the Top 15 in adjusted efficiency.  They rank in the Top 50 in effective field goal percentage defense, turnover rate, and defensive rebounding percentage, and the only area where they struggle is their opponents’ free throw rate.  The Billikens aren’t too shabby on offense either, as they rank in the Top 40 for efficiency there as well.  They take great care of the basketball and shoot well as a team, which helps make up for the fact that they struggle to get to the line and corral offensive rebounds.

Forward Brian Conklin leads the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game and makes over 53 percent from the field, while also posting a strong free throw rate.  In the backcourt, Kwamain Mitchell averages over 12 points and leads the team in assists, and Mike McCall Jr. and Jordair Jett both score at least six points per game.  Forward Cody Ellis is the third double-digit scorer and can step out and knock down three-pointers to give the Billikens another offensive threat.


Related: Jump to our West Region Bracket Breakdown

Remember, join Guinness for the St. Patrick’s Day party. It gives you a chance to win a trip to Dublin, and it gives us a chance to win one too! And it’s so easy to sign up.

  1. If you are 21, click here: http://www.guinness.com/
  2. Confirm your age
  3. Click “Count Me In”
  4. Enter your first name and zip code
  5. Important: where it says “Special Code” use this: MIDW – help MSF beat all of the other sites competing to contribute the most people to the biggest St. Patrick’s Day Party ever.

Then have a fun, exuberant, responsible St. Patrick’s Day celebration tomorrow, enjoying a Guinness or two while watching basketball. What could be better?

guinness selection sunday printable brackets march madness 2012

About Andy Bottoms

While Andy was born and raised in Indiana, he would like to point out that he grew up shooting hoops in his driveway and not against the side of a barn like you see in all the March Madness promos or in the middle of a field like Jimmy Chitwood. Andy ranks among the top bracketologists according to the Bracket Matrix and has provided his projections to Fox Sports for the past three seasons. When not compiling excuses for missing work during the NCAA Tournament, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a proud IU graduate and co-hosts The Assembly Call postgame show following every IU game. Twitter: @AndyBottoms


  1. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than three hours as of late, yet I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It’s beautiful worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the net shall be a lot more useful than ever before.

  2. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how can we

  3. Hi to every single one, it’s really a nice for me to go to see this website, it consists of precious Information.

  4. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from now on. I want to encourage that you continue your great work, have a nice afternoon!

  5. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  6. Great info. Lucky me I found your website by chance (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!

  7. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

  8. The baby video monitor can be purchased as a kit with either one or two portable camera’s, however it does accommodate up to 8 camera’s which can be purchased individually. an included secure online viewing portal that enables their customers to access a real time live, full-color video feed from their camera all from anywhere in the world that has internet access. Swings also make great baby sitters while you indulge in the luxury of a shower or a meal without a baby on your hip.

  9. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will come back from now on. I want to encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!

  10. This unique blog is definitely cool and besides diverting. I have found many helpful advices out of this source. I’d love to come back every once in a while. Thanks a lot!

  11. The wonder of those running a blog engines and CMS programs will be having less limitations in addition to simplicity of tricks allowing developers to carry out loaded written content in addition to ‘skin’ your website so that together with not much work you should by no means observe what it can be doing the web page break most devoid of restraining information along with effectiveness.

  12. I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site

  13. In case one runs short of storage space, the best alternative is to make use of the various storage devices available in the market to store the data. Once you master the buying skills of online shopping, you can very well enjoy loads of benefits like finding wider range of colors, dresses, designs, cuts and other things for your bridesmaid dresses. The only thing which is required by such plans from your side is patience and commitment.

  14. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog!

  15. I wanted to post a brief note to be able to express gratitude to you for these wonderful guides you are placing here. My time consuming internet investigation has finally been honored with brilliant know-how to exchange with my co-workers. I d declare that many of us readers are unequivocally fortunate to be in a fantastic network with very many outstanding people with helpful secrets. I feel very much lucky to have come across your web site and look forward to plenty of more fabulous times reading here. Thank you once again for a lot of things.

  16. I am sure this article has touched all the internet users, its really really nice post on building up new website.

  17. As an amateur photographer, I would not tell you the technology details of the DSLR camera, but I write this Canon EOS T3i Review for letting you know why I would choose the EOS T3i Camera and give you a guide-line of choosing digital SLR camera. Pressurised air has got a very good shutter, a take on self applied minutter, a good wink do it yourself clock, many different world techniques, and several effects to get extremely creative picture spending ventures. It was like asking Niagara Falls for a drink of water.

  18. magnificent points altogether, you simply received a new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your publish that you just made a few days in the past? Any sure?

  19. Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and fantastic design.

  20. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next post thank you once again.

  21. Thank you for all of the labor on this blog. My aunt loves setting aside time for investigation and it’s really easy to see why. We notice all of the lively mode you render precious tactics on the web site and in addition recommend participation from the others on this content then our own simple princess is without question studying so much. Have fun with the rest of the year. You are performing a really good job.

  22. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  23. These are truly impressive ideas in about blogging. You have touched some fastidious points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  24. I really enjoy the article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  25. Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your site is very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Let’s brighten up the clip, focusing on the baby’s face in the foreground. A dab of salt could also be added to improve the results of the orange and lemon peels. Post care maintenance of the teeth also weighs on the teeth whitening price.my web blog Tooth Whitening

  27. Wow, superb blog layout! I can tell you put some work in. I in no way believed of that this way .. I will display my fellow colleagues this well-written content material. I am extremely comfortable that I stumbled across this in my search for one factor with regards to this.

  28. In this post, we preview the West Region matchup between #1 seed Michigan State and Rick Majerus
    togel sgp

  29. between the two teams will feature two of the nation
    togel singapura

  30. The matchup between the two teams will feature two of the nation’s best defensive units
    Bandar togel Hongkong

  31. The matchup between the two teams will feature two of the nation’s best defensive units, as both
    togel sgp

Speak Your Mind