Spartans Face Tough Opposition Amid Hopes of Elite Eight Qualification



  • After successive wins against USC and Marquette, MI State qualified to the Sweet 16 round for the 15th time in history.
  • Tom Izzo’s Spartans would face Kansas State on Thursday March 23 to secure a place in the Elite Eight.
  • Michigan State would be looking to win their third National Championship and first since the start of the century.

Michigan State University Spartans has a rich history in college basketball, and they have proven to be a force to reckon with in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball competition over the years. The team soundly defeated Marquette Golden Eagles to fix a tie with Kansas State Wildcats in the Sweet 16.

This marks the 15th time that the Spartans would be qualifying to the round, with only two of previous attempts resulting in championship victory. We’ll take a look at the history of MI State at March Madness and betting odds at NCAA sports betting apps ahead of the tie.

Tracing the History of the Michigan State Spartans Across Two Championship Titles

The history of Michigan State basketball dates back to the early 1900s. The team began playing organized basketball in 1899, and quickly developed a reputation for excellence on the court. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that Michigan State emerged as a dominant force in college basketball.

In 1957, the Spartans won their first Big Ten championship, and in 1959, they made their first appearance in the NCAA tournament. The team's success continued into the 1960s, as they won multiple conference championships and made several appearances in the NCAA tournament.

It was in 1979 that Michigan State truly made history, as they won their first NCAA championship under head coach Jud Heathcote. The team's star player, Magic Johnson, led the way with his incredible talent and leadership on the court. Johnson's performance in the championship game against Indiana State is still considered one of the greatest in NCAA history.

The Spartans continued to be a top team in the 1980s and 1990s, with multiple conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. In 2000, Michigan State won their second NCAA championship, this time under head coach Tom Izzo. The team's star player, Mateen Cleaves, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Betting Odds, Star Players to Watch and Prospects of Elite Eight Qualification

Going into the tie, Kansas State Wildcats very much seem the favorites. The Wildcats are placed in the third seed, winning 25 of their last 34 games, while seven-seeded Spartans have 21 wins from 33. An unprecedented 69-60 upset against Marquette brought the Spartans face to face with Kansas State. On the other hand, the Wildcards defeated Kentucky 75-69 to clinch a place in the tie.

Sportsbooks have updated betting odds for the Sweet 16 tie. On the moneyline, Michigan State is a -125 while Kansas State has odds of +105. Both teams are highly defensive and this has led bookies to put the Over/Under odds at 137.5 (Over: -108; Under: -112). If you’re betting against the spread, the odds are set as Michigan State -1.5 (-112) while Kansas State is set at +1.5 (108).

Michigan State has produced some of the best stars of the game, with notable names including Magic Johnson, Mateen Cleaves, Scott Skiles and more recently, Draymond Green. This year’s March Madness also presents some exciting talents to watch out for, one of which is Tyson Walker. A guard from Westbury in New York, Walker is a must-have in any tie, thanks to his ball IQ and timely plays.

You should also be on the lookout for Joey Hauser who plays as a stretch forward. The 6ft 9” tall player could make the state proud with his incredible eye for perfect shots when he faces the Wildcats. All eyes would also be Malik Hall who has been instrumental to the first and second rounds for the Spartans.

Supporting the Spartans at Madison Square Garden

Michigan State will face Kansas State on Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 pm ET. Should they win, they would go on to face either Tennessee or FL Atlantic in the Elite Eight. You can cheer Tom Izzo’s team live from Madison Square Garden in New York City where the East Regional Semifinals is scheduled to take place.

You can get tickets for as low as $221 and as high as $2,500, depending on the seat sections. Flight prices if you’re leaving from Detroit range from $250 to $350. Thankfully, sports betting is legal in both New York and Michigan. So, regardless of your location, you can place bets on the Spartans to go all the way.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments