Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans Pick
In a weekend of rivalries, the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans (24-6) will host the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (26-4) on Saturday, as the season comes to an end with tournament play right around the corner. The pursuit for first place in the Big Ten couldn’t be any closer than it is at the moment. The Spartans and Wolverines each hold a 15-4 conference record, with No. 11 Purdue right there with them in the standings for a three-way tie. The Spartans are -4 in this game over Michigan.
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Spartans Looking to Repeat
Michigan State took the first matchup in February defeating Michigan 77-70. Cassius Winston had 27 points and eight assists for the Spartans. Kenny Goins finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Xavier Tillman added 14 points, as Michigan’s 22-game winning streak at Crisler Center came to an end despite being without two of their top three scorers.
"I don't need to be an underdog anymore – those days are over," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who moved within three victories of 600 coaching the Spartans. "I don't need to have anybody feel sorry for us. Those days are over. Doesn't matter, nobody cares – put a jersey on a kid, and he goes."
Joshua Langford is done for the season, and Nick Ward is still recovering from a broken hand, but Goins and Tillman produced in Ward’s absence.
“They were much better than us in just about everything,” Wolverines coach John Beilein said. “Offense, defense, got to the foul line more. First half was huge where we allowed five 3s. Second half was much better defense by us, but … we’re going to have to play better than that.”
Wolverines Look for Revenge
Michigan rebounded in their next game blowing out Nebraska 82-53. They then went on the road and defeated No. 17 Maryland 69-62.
“This was as focused as we’ve been,” Beilein said. “We’ve only lost four games, but we’ve had some times this year that we really got pruned. And being a farm boy, when you get pruned you grow back stronger.”
The Wolverines will do what they can to avoid getting "pruned" on Saturday. All five starters were able to finish in double-digits with Ignas Brazdeikis leading the way with 21 points against the Terrapins. The freshman leads Michigan in scoring with 14.8 points per game. Sophomore Jordan Peele averages 12.9 points, and senior Charles Matthews adds 12.9 points. The 7-foot-1 junior Jon Teske anchors the paint averaging 9.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks.
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Michigan at Michigan State Prediction 03/09/2019
The Spartans have gone 1-1 since playing Michigan. They lost 63-62 to Indiana and then bounced back against Nebraska winning 91-76. Goins scored a team-high 24 points and tacked on eight rebounds, while fellow senior Matt McQuaid finished with 22 points. It seems like a longshot that Ward is able to suit up for the season finally. Never underestimate Izzo in the month of March, as he's proved doubters wrong time and time again. ESPN's matchup predictor is giving the Spartans a 72.4 percent chance to win, and we're siding with that prediction.
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