The 2019 Gavitt Tipoff Games conclude tonight with a doubleheader that includes arguably the most hyped matchup for the event.
Game of the Night
#3 Michigan State Spartans at #12 Seton Hall Pirates
- Time/TV: 8:30 PM ET (FS1)
- Line: Michigan State -6.5
Michigan State will look to bounce back with a win over 12th ranked Seton Hall after losing their season opener to Kentucky. While they did manage to beat the lights out of Binghamton, a win against Seton Hall would be a good way to get some positive momentum with the Maui Invitational and a home game against Duke coming up.
Seton Hall might not be Kentucky, but they’re a team coming off of a NCAA Tournament bid that returns four starters and has an offensive star in Myles Powell. Unfortunately for the Pirates, though, said offensive star is likely out due to an ankle sprain he suffered earlier this month.
If Powell had been in the lineup tonight the Pirates could have been in position for an upset of the former top ranked Spartans. And considering Michigan State’s typical slow starts to the season, one has to wonder if the road trip to New Jersey might prove problematic.
In their opening loss to Kentucky the Spartans were ice cold from three (5 of 26) and committed 16 turnovers. They didn’t fare much better from three in their second outing, shooting 7 of 25 from deep. Michigan State has a strong frontcourt and can likely feed it inside on the offensive side of the ball, but if they want to be a national title contender they’ll need to improve their shooting from outside. Last time out Cassius Winston and guard Rocket Watts went 4 of 15 from beyond the arc.
If Seton Hall had Powell they’d be ripe for an upset but with their star out look for Michigan State to pick up the W.
Pick Against the Spread: Michigan State
- Time/TV: 6:30 PM ET (FS1)
- Line: Georgetown -1
The Nittany Lions will look to improve to 3-0 with a win on the road against Georgetown, which should provide a more difficult challenge then Maryland-Eastern Shore and Wagner.
Penn State hasn’t had much of an issue so far in their first two games and will look to rely on forward Lamar Stevens to pace the offense. The Lions have a pretty solid core between Stevens and Mike Watkins, so if they can get solid performances from Myreon Jones and Myles Dread that would go a long way. Stevens has shown he can perform and is a major power on the offensive side of the ball, while Watkins cleans up inside and can take over the glass. The question is how much coach Pat Chambers can get from his other guys.
Georgetown is coming off of a 19 win season and just missed the NCAA Tournament last season. Now expected to find their way back to the NCAA Tournament, the Hoyas will need to start winning games like these. In their first two games North Carolina State transfer Omer Yurtseven has been impressive with 37 points and 27 rebounds. It’ll definitely be an interesting outing between Yurtseven and Watkins and whoever can establish control inside could help their team find an edge.
The Hoyas didn’t look all that impressive in their two wins, beating Mt. St. Mary’s by 13 and Central Arkansas by 11. On the other side, Penn State looked impressive beating two tepid cupcakes. Penn State is top heavy with Stevens and Watkins and the Hoyas have the more talented roster, so unless Stevens and Watkins can take over there’s a good chance the difference tonight will be the game being played at Georgetown.
Pick Against the Spread: Georgetown