Friday, January 24, 2014

Michigan at Michigan State Breakdown & Prediction

No. 21 Michigan at No. 3 Michigan State
Time: 7PM ET
Venue: Breslin Center
Records: Michigan 14-4, 6-0 Big Ten; Michigan State 18-1, 7-0
Michigan stat leaders: Points – Nik Stauskas (18.5 ppg); Rebounds – Jon Horford (5.1 rpg); Assists – Stauskas (3.8 apg); Steals – Caris LeVert (1.3 spg).
Michigan State stat leaders: Points – Garry Harris (18.3 ppg); Rebounds – Branden Dawson (8.7 rpg); Assists – Keith Appling (4.6 apg); Steals – Harris (2.1 spg).
Current Streaks: Michigan W8, Michigan State W11
Point Spread: Michigan State -5
Prediction: I am surprised to see MSU favored by 5 entering this game with Branden Dawson out and Adreian Payne not expected to play. Michigan has really impressed me in the last few weeks and I think it had the chance to win this game prior to Dawson’s injury. For some reason, MSU doesn’t play that well at the Breslin Center this season and having their best two bigs out of the game isn’t going to help. Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford have improved their play with Mitch McGary out. The collection of Matt Costello, Alex Gauna and Kenny Kaminski will have to do the same for MSU. If the Spartans are to win, it will likely fall on Gary Harris and Keith Appling to get it done on both sides of the ball. Harris shouldn’t have trouble scoring, but Appling has been taking a beating with his aggressive play on offense. It is good to see Appling attacking, but his body is not handling the extra contact. Nik Stauskas is playing as well as anyone in the country and if he isn’t contained – not just from shooting, but also from distributing – MSU can’t win. The Wolverines just seem to be connected right now. Their offensive chemistry is tremendous, and while their defense could be better, it hasn’t kept them from winning. I look for Michigan to pull out another big win on the road thanks to that offensive chemistry. Michigan 70, Michigan State 66

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