Michigan State Basketball: 3 keys to beating a reeling Michigan team

Michigan State's head coach Tom Izzo gets emotional talking about the shot that his son Steven Izzo
Michigan State's head coach Tom Izzo gets emotional talking about the shot that his son Steven Izzo / Nick King / USA TODAY NETWORK
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As a Lions fan (and a Michigan State athletics fan), the last thing I want to do is think about sports right now. The Michigan State football season had the heartbreak of a derailed season, the Lions season ended with the "what if?" heartbreak, and Michigan State Basketball has the heartbreak of unfulfilled expectations.

Add watching your rival win a national title on top of it and Spartan Nation is on the brink of being broken, and losing at home to a terrible Michigan team will break a lot of fans, including me.

If the Spartans lose on Tuesday, I will have to quit sports for a while. I hate being this sad over things I have no control over and I know it's supposed to "make the highs that much sweeter", but the problem is that without at least a Final Four in basketball, those highs are 10 months away.

So let's start with baby steps and just beat Michigan at home and here's how they do it.

1. Ignore Michigan's 78.8 points per game

Yes, on paper, facing a team scoring almost 80 points a game seems bad for Michigan State's defense, can barely score 60 in some conference games.

The good news is that this number is inflated because of some high scoring non-conference games including a 106-101 double overtime loss.

The other good news is that Michigan's leading scorer will not be playing because he's suspended because of his grades but only for away games for whatever reason. Dug McDaniel is averaging 17.2 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the floor. The Wolverines have failed to score 70 points in their road games since the suspension. McDaniel is also leads the team in assists and in roads games, no player has had more than four.

A reeling team (2-8 in their last 10 games) minus their best player is an advantage that the Spartans have to jump on early.