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No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 USC preview for March Madness First Round matchup

No. 7 Michigan State and No. 10 USC face off in the First Round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of the game and how to watch.

Tyson Walker #2 of the Michigan State Spartans dribbles the ball against Sean McNeil #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half of a Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals game at United Center on March 10, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 14th with the First Four, and then moves on to the First Round on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The No. 7 seed Michigan State Spartans take on the No. 10 seed USC Trojans.

Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the matchup.

Once odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Friday, March 17
Game time: Noon ET
TV channel: CBS
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH

Odds: Michigan State -1.5

No. 7 Michigan State

In their fifth NCAA Tournament bid under HC Andy Enfield, USC enters March Madness after a very respectable 2022-23 campaign against some tough competition. Behind Final Four-hopefuls UCLA and Arizona, the Trojans managed to navigate the Pac-12 schedule with confidence — finishing the regular season in third place. Their most impressive win might be over hated rival No. 8 UCLA on Jan. 26.

Yet, much has transpired since the Trojans’ beat down of the Bruins. Southern Cal closed the regular season by winning five of their final six contests, losing only at Arizona. Then, in the conference tournament, the Trojans were upset by the Sun Devils, who lost to USC twice this season. If SC can improve their perimeter defense, they have the talent to make noise throughout the brackets.

No. 10 USC

The Spartans went 5-2 down the stretch after a very rough patch in which they lost five of seven conference games. But the Spartans have been inconsistent this season, as illustrated by back-to-back games in which they first thumped Indiana 80-65 and then blew a 13-point lead with 1:30 left to Iowa in a crushing 112-106 overtime loss.

It’s hard to ever completely count out a Tom Izzo squad in the tournament, but these Spartans don’t have nearly enough star power. While Tyson Walker and Joey Hauser provide a nice 1-2 punch on offense, the team’s lack of offensive depth could prove problematic against a deeper team in the tournament.