Who: (4) Michigan State vs. Iowa
When: 9:00 PM EST
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Spread: MSU -10.5
MSU’s winning streak:
MSU (22-3, 10-2 Big Ten) has won their last six games and will look to continue to add on to their win streak tonight as they travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes. Iowa (12-13, 3-9 Big Ten) will look to some how pull of the upset tonight in front of the home crowd. Now we all now MSU plays their best in February and March leading up to the NCAA tournament. MSU has found ways to come away with the victory in their last six games. With a 4-1 record on the road, MSU has been able to battle adversity and come out on top. During their winning streak, three of the six games have been played on the road and they have all been tough games. In their last game at Indiana, MSU was able to pull out a close one defeating the Hoosiers 63-60.
This Iowa team has not had the ideal season. They are three spots out of last place in the conference. In their last game against Penn State, they were over matched the whole game as they lost 82-58. Just two years ago Iowa defeated MSU twice in the regular season, one of those wins happened while MSU held the number one ranking in the nation. This certainly is a different Iowa team now. With only two seniors on the team, Iowa relies heavily on their underclassmen. Sophomore Tyler Cook is the team’s leading scorer at 15.3 points per game. He will definitely be there go to man for the next two years. One positive stat for Iowa is their offense. They are third in the Big Ten in scoring at 80.2 points per game right behind MSU. But they are last in the conference in defense giving up 77.6 points per game. Iowa will have their hands full tonight as they will attempt to limit MSU’s scoring.
Michigan State preview:
MSU is coming off a close win against Indiana where they struggled overall in the second half. This team will have to play a complete game each and every night if they want to contend for a Big Ten and national championship. This team knows how to get off to a good start during the game, but when the second half comes around, it seems like they do not have that same intensity when they first start off the game. They need to be consistent in keeping a high intensity level and just going out there and competing. This is a very important game for MSU because their next game is against Purdue and they do not want to go into that game playing bad basketball. They need to go into the game with momentum and feeling good about themselves as a team.
But their focus should not be on Purdue which I’m sure it’s not. Their number one focus is on Iowa tonight and what they need to do to come out with the win. This starting line up led by Miles Bridges (17.4 ppg) is a force to be reckoned with and win they are all connecting on all cylinders, opponents are in for some trouble. The chemistry will only get stronger and stronger with these guys, especially come postseason time. I expect Gavin Schilling to enlighten his teammates on what it takes to get to the final four and the experience that he had when he went. That conversation will only inspire them to play harder and they will be determined to get to San Antonio this year. MSU will look to close out the regular season on a good note and carry that momentum into postseason play. Iowa will not have an answer for MSU on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Defensively, MSU dominates in the paint and on the glass. Freshman sensation, Jaren Jackson Jr., has stepped up in his first year and continues to improve each game. Standing at 6’11, his presence makes it difficult for people to score on him. MSU will finally turn things around and have a complete game tonight.
MSU will come out tonight hungry and eager to dominate against Iowa. Bridges, Winston and Ward will all have big games for MSU tonight and look for Jackson Jr. to continue to step up defensively. MSU will win their seventh game in a row defeating Iowa 87-69.