November 2, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans student section cheers during the first half of a game against the St. Cloud State Huskies at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan State Basketball vs. Connecticut Preview

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Michigan State basketball kicks off their season against Connecticut today. This isn’t your average season opener. The game will be played in Kaiserslautern, Germany at the Ramstein Airbase. The number 14 ranked Spartans look to capitalize on the relative inexperience of this Connecticut team.

Michigan State basketball starts the year with high expectations. With key returning starters the Spartans are poised to make a deep run in March. Connecticut on the other hand is in a massive period of transition. With the retirement of Jim Calhoun, the Huskies will have Kevin Ollie at the helm. As a first time head coach, some bumps in the road can be expected. Meanwhile, the Spartans look to incorporate freshman Gary Harris into the mix. As a highly touted recruit, expect for him to make an immediate impact. The return of

Brendan Dawson should be anticipated as well. With flashes of real brilliance last year, Dawson looks to recover from the torn ACL he suffered a year ago and fulfill his potential.

The most intriguing matchup in the game is far and away, Keith Appling vs. Shabazz Napier. After difficult sophomore seasons for both of them, they’ll look to make statements in the opening game. Both are gifted athletes who excel at taking the ball to the hole. Expect both of these point guards to battle all night, and for there to be a lot of shots and points from both.

Although there is a basketball game being played, events like this are held by schools to pay respect to our men and women in uniform. And the marketing doesn’t hurt recruiting either. I expect a high-energy, aggressive game. Don’t be surprised to see some of the off-season rust come into play, but expect to see 110 percent effort involved from the players involved. Expect it to be close for a while, and for the Spartans to pull ahead mid-way through the second half and close the game without any real trouble.

 

Prediction:  MSU 69, Connecticut 52

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