March Madness 2022: Michigan State-Davidson predictions

The Detroit News

Matt Charboneau, James Hawkins, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Friday’s NCAA Tournament game between Michigan State and Davidson in Greenville, South Carolina (9:40 p.m., CBS/760).

Matt Charboneau: Davidson has the ability to light up the scoreboard, ranking eighth in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage with a quality post player in Luka Brajkovic and Hyunjung Lee, a dynamic wing. But Michigan State defends the 3 well, ranking third in the Big Ten and the Spartans are no slouch from long distance, either, ranking 18th in the nation in 3-point shooting. The uncertainty of Tyson Walker's status is a concern, but expect A.J. Hoggard to get in the lane and create, giving the Spartans an offensive advantage that should propel them to the second round. Michigan State, 77-67

Scouting report:Michigan State vs. Davidson in NCAA Tournament

How to watch:Michigan State vs. Davidson in NCAA Tournament

A.J. Hoggard's ability to take care of the basketball Friday could go a long way for Michigan State on Friday in its NCAA Tournament game against Davidson.

James Hawkins: Davidson won’t be easy to beat. The Wildcats are a low-turnover team that can shoot 3-pointers at a high clip (38.6%) and rank 11th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency (116.7 points per 100 possessions). They also have one of the best wings in the nation in Hyunjung Lee. But Michigan State has weapons and can make shots, too. The issue with the Spartans is turnovers. If A.J. Hoggard takes care of the ball and spreads it around, Michigan State should advance. Michigan State, 71-68 

John Niyo: Davidson isn’t going to give up a lot of easy buckets in transition or second-chance points. But they won’t get many of their own, either, unless Michigan State decides to hand them to the Wildcats with silly turnovers. The Spartans might, of course. But I think A.J. Hoggard will be able to get into the lane and create in the half-court offense. And for as much talk as there is about Davidson’s three-point threat, Michigan State’s more than capable of matching them from deep. Michigan State, 72-67

Bob Wojnowski: Davidson is a super-efficient offensive team with 3-point shooters all over the place. Former Spartan Foster Loyer is one of them, and he’s the Wildcats’ leading scorer at 16.4. But 6-7 guard Hyunjung Lee is the toughest matchup. Tom Izzo’s team has cranked up the defense of late and will have to guard relentlessly here, with 7-footer Marcus Bingham Jr. being a shot-blocking disrupter. Michigan State is a good 3-point shooting team too, but doesn’t fire it as often. Max Christie and Gabe Brown need to get hot, and the Spartans need to rebound and run to keep up with the Wildcats. Michigan State, 78-74