Previewing Michigan State vs. Minnesota Basketball: What Fans Need to Know

Derrick Nix (25) at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

In tonight’s game between the Michigan State Spartans (18-4, 7-2) and the Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-5, 5-4), the two teams will play each other for the second time. In the Big Ten opener, the Spartans fell to the Golden Gophers. The Spartans will be hosting in the East Lansing Breslin Center.

Possible starters for Michigan State include:

  • #25 Derrick Nix
  • #5 Adreian Payne
  • #22 Branden Dawson
  • #14 Gary Harris
  • #11 Keith Appling

Possible starters for Minnesota include:

  • #43 Trevor Mbakwe
  • #33 Rodney Williams
  • #1 Andre hollins
  • #11 Joe Coleman
  • #20 Austin Hollins

Even though the last time the two schools met, Minnesota won, Michigan Sate leads the all-time series against the Golden Gophers 63-58, including a strong 39-19 advantage of games that the two teams played in the Breslin Center. MSU has won the last 13 meetings between the two teams at the Breslin Center, and Tom Izzo has a 25-9 all-time record against the Minnesota team.

The last time the two teams met, Minnesota won 76-63 after an 8-0 run that took place in less than a minute. Appling found himself on the bench and Trice put away three 3-pointers during the game. However in the second half a poor shooting ratio and too many turnovers, the Spartans began to trail the Gophers.  The last time the two met in East Lansing, it was the 400th career win for Izzo. MSU won 68-52.

Michigan State is still in that tough stretch of games that will challenge the team to the core. They will play seven games against opponents that are ranked in Associated Press’ Top 25. This is just the fifth in a 12-game stretch the Spartans have against teams with a .500 record or above.

Michigan State’s leading scorer, Keith Appling has 14.0 points per game to Andre Hollins 14.2 for the Gophers. Payne has 6.9 rebounds per game as the leading rebounder when matched up to Trevor Mbakwe’s 8.5 per game. Appling has 4.2 assists per game and Hollins has 3.7 points per game. The game tonight is closely matched and it will come down to limiting the number of turnovers and making sure key players make shots when they have the ball.

 

Topics: Basketball, Michigan State Spartans, Minnesota Golden Gophers

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