3 bold predictions for Michigan State basketball rematch with No. 3 Purdue

Michigan State forward Malik Hall (25) dunks against Minnesota during the first half of Second Round
Michigan State forward Malik Hall (25) dunks against Minnesota during the first half of Second Round / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Michigan State basketball is (likely) in the NCAA Tournament, folks. For a 26th straight season, Tom Izzo has led the Spartans to the tournament which is just an insane streak and it thankfull didn't come to an end this season despite a massively disappointing 19-13 year. The Spartans started the year ranked No. 4 and it all went downhill from there.

Fortunately, the Spartans came up clutch on Thursday afternoon, beating Minnesota 77-67 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Unfortunately, the Spartans will get Purdue on Friday afternoon. This will be the perfect test going into the NCAA Tournament because there's a good chance Michigan State will see a No. 1 seed in the second round if it wins its first-round matchup and why not face arguably the best one to prepare?

Here are three of my boldest predictions for the big game.

3. AJ Hoggard has a near-perfect game again

I'll be honest, I've been very hard on AJ Hoggard this season and it's because I know how good he can be for the Spartans. So when he struggles or looks disinterested, it's tough to defend him.

On Thursday, however, he looked like the All-Big Ten player we all expected before the season began. He was perfect from the field and finished with 17 points and six assists and didn't have a single turnover in the second half after coughing the ball up three times in the first 20 minutes. He was also perfect from the field, going 6-for-6 and 4-for-4 from the line.

Against Purdue, he's going to have another nearly flawless performance, going 6-for-7 from the field with five assists and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line. He'll finish with 18 points and only turn the ball over one time. He's starting to really round into postseason form.