Daniel Evans and Blake Hofstad are previewing every game of the NCAA Tournament. Check out all of their previews here.
Daniel’s Take: The numbers point to this one being a closer game than a lot of people might realize. Valparaiso was lucky to make it out of the Horizon League Tournament with hope but an upset like this one would probably spark Bryce Drew highlights to be one of the most played videos on Youtube. Expect it to be close, but when in doubt go with Tom Izzo in March.
Blake’s Take: This won’t be an easy win for Tom Izzo’s team. Valpo barely made it out of the Horizon, but they’re a solid team and boast an efficient offense, led by seniors Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk. Michigan State has some of the typical warning signs of a team ripe for upset, chiefly among them that atrocious turnover margin. But as we saw in the Horizon League Championship, Valparaiso has turnover problems of its own. If the Crusaders were better at taking care of the ball, I might just take them. As it is, give me the Spartans.