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UNC vs Michigan State Picks for March Madness Round 2

The only March Madness matchup on Saturday of former national champions features a Michigan State team looking to reach the regionals for just the third time in the last eight tournaments. The Vegas March Madness odds list North Carolina as the favorite in its second straight 2024 March Madness game, something that hasn’t happened since the 2019 tournament.

This is the first meeting between the teams since 2017 when the Spartans won 63-45 as a two-point favorite in a game that fell well under the 156-point total. The last NCAA Tournament matchup between the Spartans and the Tar Heels came in 2007, when North Carolina won 81-67 as a 10-point favorite.

UNC vs Michigan State Picks for March Madness Round 2
UNC vs Michigan State Picks for March Madness Round 2

North Carolina is listed as a 4-point favorite according to the NCAAB expert picks.

North Carolina is tied for fifth at +1400 in the odds to win March Madness. Michigan State headed into the weekend tied for 16th at 5000 in the championship odds.

Keep on reading for more on the matchup between Michigan State and North Carolina.

Game Information

  • Game: Michigan State 20-14 vs North Carolina 28-7
  • Date/Time: Saturday, March 23, 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
  • Michigan State vs North Carolina Live Stream: TBS.com


While calling a game in Charlotte, N.C., a neutral-site game for North Carolina is officially accurate but it will be anything but that when the Tar Heels eye a trip to the regionals. Still, North Carolina is 16-12 outright in its last 28 neutral-site games compared to a 13-12 mark for Michigan State during that stretch. The Tar Heels are 14-13-1 ATS in those games with Michigan State covering in 15 of its last 25 games on a neutral court.

North Carolina is priced at -165 to win the game outright with Michigan State at +145 on the Moneyline.


Michigan State vs North Carolina Odds and Spreads


  • North Carolina has covered in seven of its last eight meetings with Michigan State.
  • The Tar Heels are 26-6 as a favorite this season.
  • Michigan State has lost six of its eight games when listed as the underdog.
  • The Spartans have covered in four of its last neutral-site games.
  • Eight of the 10 games played by North Carolina on neutral courts went over the total.
  • The total went under in four of Michigan State’s last five games.
  • Both the Spartans and the Tar Heels are 4-2 ATS over the last six games.
  • The total went over in four of North Carolina’s last five games.


ATS Pick: North Carolina -4

Michigan State is 4-4-1 against the spread this season when facing a ranked team. It is fair to wonder if the four-point line would look a little different if it wasn’t Tom Izzo coaching Michigan State because, at first glance, North Carolina certainly looks more than four points better than Michigan State.

North Carolina has won seven of the last eight games with Michigan State even though no player from either team have been a part of those matchups.

The Tar Heels have covered just twice in the last 10 meetings with Big Ten programs.

Freshman guard Jeremy Fears, who hasn’t played since Dec. 21, is out for Michigan State.

The top nine players for North Carolina should all be available.



Over/Under Pick: Over 140

The total went under in six of the last nine games between Michigan State and North Carolina while six of Michigan State’s last nine games also landed under the total. However, the 140-point does seem a little on the low side with the way North Carolina can score.

The top five scorers for Michigan State are all either juniors or seniors so the Spartans could have some success slowing the tempo in this matchup.

Michigan State is ninth in defensive efficiency according to the Pomeroy college basketball ratings, but North Carolina comes in seventh as well as being in the top 20 in offensive efficiency.



Player Prop Pick: Cormac Ryan to score 10+ Points (-114)

After a quiet ending to the ACC tournament, North Carolina’s Cormac Ryan had 13 points against Wagner. With the attention paid to RJ Davis and Armando Bacot, there will be opportunities for the Notre Dame transfer to make shots in this game so take a look at the -114 odds for Ryan to have at least 10 points.



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Score Prediction

North Carolina 75, Michigan State 69



Questions Of The Day

Which team has a better record against the spread going into the matchup between Michigan State and North Carolina?

Michigan State is 19-14-1 against the spread this season with North Carolina slightly better at 20-15.

What is a player prop worth considering for the Michigan State Spartans?

A.J. Hoggard was pretty quiet in the first-round win but in last year’s NCAAB tournament, he averaged 16.8 points per game. His +102 odds to score at least 11 points are pretty enticing.

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