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No. 11 Michigan St. vs. No. 11 UCLA preview for NCAA Tournament First Four matchup

The No. 11 Michigan State and No. 11 UCLA face off in one of the First Four games of the 2021 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

Will Michigan State cover the spread against UCLA?

aThe NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, March 18th with the First Four, and then moves on to the first round on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. No. 11 seed Michigan State will face No. 11 seed UCLA on Thursday in the First Four. Game time has yet to be announced but we will update this article with that and game odds as soon as it comes available. For now, we’ve got a preliminary preview of the two teams to get you ready for the start of March Madness!

Once the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Thursday, March 18
Game time: 9:57 p.m.
TV channel: TBS
Location: Mackey Arena, Purdue University

Opening Odds

Point spread: Michigan State -2
Point total: 136
Moneyline: Michigan State -132, UCLA +112

No. 11 Michigan State

The Michigan State Spartans are making their 34th NCAA tournament appearance in school history. They’ve been to the Final Four ten times and ended up winning it in 2000. The last time Sparty was in the tournament was in 2019. They made a deep run that season, winning four games before losing 61-51 to Texas Tech in the national semifinal.

Michigan State’s relevant stats

Record: 15-12, 9-11 Big Ten
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 97KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 33
ATS: 9-18
Over Total: 10-17
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +8000

No. 11 UCLA

The UCLA Bruins have proven to be a resilient bunch without key pieces Chris Smith and Jalen Hill on the floor. UCLA is led by their ability on the offensive end of the floor, as they come in with the No. 25 offense in the country in adjusted efficiency. The Bruins use a guard-heavy rotation, and Johnny Juzang leads the team with 14 points per game. Additionally, Jaime Jaquez Jr. is averaging 12.6 points to go along with teams highs with six rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

UCLA’s relevant stats

Record: 17-9, 13-6 Pac-12
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 25
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 87
ATS: 12-14
Over Total: 15-11
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +5000