The Spartans haven't won the title since 2000, but they could be the best current value right now to cut down the nets.
After a crazy weekend that saw two more No. 1 seeds knocked out in the Elite Eight of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the South Region's Virginia Cavaliers are the lone survivors from that original group heading into the Final Four in Minneapolis on Saturday. The Cavaliers are also the last ACC team left, and they are listed as slight +150 favorites (bet $100 to win $150) on the NCAA Tournament odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Virginia advanced to its first Final Four since 1984 by edging the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers 80-75 in overtime on Saturday in one of the most thrilling games of the Big Dance. The Cavaliers barely covered the spread as 4.5-point favorites thanks to a pair of late free throws by point guard Kihei Clark with one second remaining in OT.
The second-seeded Michigan State Spartans are right behind them as the +185 second choice on the March Madness odds after upsetting the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils 68-67 as 2.5-point underdogs on Sunday to win the East. The Big Ten's Spartans dispatched of the overall tournament favorite by playing patiently both offensively and defensively while forcing the Blue Devils to take bad shots.
Led by junior point guard Cassius Winston - who played all 40 minutes and totaled 20 points and 10 assists - the Spartans hold more value and are the best bet to win their first NCAA title since 2000 next Monday night.
Of course it will not be easy considering Michigan State must first take on the dangerous Texas Tech Red Raiders, the No. 3 seed from the West who eliminated the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs 75-69 last Friday as five-point underdogs on the March Madness lines. The Big 12's Red Raiders are +425 to win it all and got to their first Final Four thanks to outstanding defense, and they will rely on that again as three-point underdogs against the Spartans.
Virginia also has a tough opponent in the fifth-seeded Auburn Tigers out of the Midwest. Auburn is the biggest underdog to win the national championship at +600 in its first Final Four as well, and like Texas Tech beat the top two seeds in its region to get here. The Cavaliers are five-point favorites but just 2-3 against the spread in their past five games.
The SEC's Tigers routed the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels 97-80 as 5.5-point underdogs in the Sweet 16 last Friday and followed that up by defeating the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats 77-71 in OT as 4.5-point dogs in the Elite Eight on Sunday.
The total has gone OVER in Auburn's last five games, so tempo could be the key in the first national semifinal matchup. Virginia prefers to play at a slower pace and has seen the UNDER go 3-1 in its last four games.