Saturday, January 18, 2014

Michigan State at Illinois Breakdown & Prediction

No. 4 Michigan State at Illinois
Time: 8PM ET
Venue: State Farm Center
TV: Big Ten Network
Records: Michigan State 16-1, 5-0 Big Ten; Illinois 13-5, 2-3
Michigan State stat leaders: Points – Garry Harris (17.6 ppg); Rebounds – Branden Dawson (8.9 rpg); Assists – Keith Appling (4.6 apg); Steals – Harris (1.9 spg).
Illinois stat leaders: Points – Rayvonte Rice (17.7 ppg); Rebounds – Jon Ekey (6.0 rpg); Assists – Tracy Abrams (3.4 apg); Steals – Rice (1.3 spg).
Current Streaks: Michigan State W9, Illinois L3
Point Spread: Michigan State -5
Prediction: Both teams come into this game dealing with injuries as Adreian Payne is still doubtful with his foot injury and Illinois’ leading scorer, Rayvonte Rice, is questionable with a hip issue. Rice is a game-time decision, but even if he does play, he won’t be at his best. Illinois has really been struggling on offense as of late, averaging just 50.5 points over their last two games. Michigan State has played well on the road and is now accustomed to playing without Payne. The Michigan State defense shouldn’t have much trouble containing the Illini offense. Michigan State will look better offensively than it did against Northwestern, but this game still won’t be terribly high scoring. Michigan State 66, Illinois 54

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