Michigan State to play Rutgers

Michigan State to play Rutgers”

The Spartans (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten) were coming off a lopsided loss at Ohio State and the setback seemed to have lingering effects for the team and their sophomore star.

It will go down as a near-miss for Rutgers, but a mighty impressive one. So would you say the team has played better since its battle against the Spartans back on December 5? The Big Ten's coaching dean was all over the crew like they were silly freshmen who got blown by on defense. Those three games were simply terrible and there is no excuse for Rutgers to play the way it did. But that was at home, and those Badgers played shorthanded due to injuries. In fact, no Big Ten team has gone unbeaten since IN was 18-0 IN 1975-76, so doing so again this season was a bit of a stretch, even for a Michigan State team that was ranked No. 1 IN the nation and had won 14 straight before falling Sunday at Ohio State. With that being said, due to some of the young pieces Rutgers has, its best basketball of the season has yet to be played.

Michigan State didn't shoot well (41 percent), rebound well (lost the rebound battle, 40-36) nor did it defend the Scarlet Knights' best player, Corey Sanders - well. His ability to take over games is what sets him apart from the other players on the team. However, the game was tied at halftime and Rutgers trailed by only two points with eight minutes to play in regulation. "If we play with that kind of effort, we're going to be fine". MSU, which ranks No. 1 in assists per game in the country, had just 13 on 23 made baskets against the Buckeyes.

I think his biggest value against the Spartans will be just that. If he can force Cassius Winston into turnovers and thus keep Michigan State out of an offensive rhythm, he will give Rutgers a shot to be competitive.

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Q: Rutgers was able to keep the previous meeting with MSU closely contested throughout even with their top three scorers struggling on offense. It's insane when you think about it, but their defense is good enough that they just need to figure out how to make simple shots and be an average shooting team.

Four starters scored in double digits, but the Spartans shot just 39 percent as a team. MSU held a 10-point lead at one point in the half, but after the Scarlet Knights cut the deficit to seven, they took a 32-25 lead with them into the locker room. Are you really that screwed up that you think we're just some powerhouse that can do all that?' We're a very good team, and there are a lot of very good teams out there. All that's missing is shot-making.

No. 1 VILLANOVA 89, XAVIER 65: In Philadelphia, Phil Booth hit five 3s and scored 21 points and Jalen Brunson had 17 to lead Villanova (15-1, 3-1 Big East). Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case this year.

Michigan State started the week ranked No. 1 in the national polls after having won 14 straight games by an average of more than 28 points. The public betting is strongly with Michigan State and I agree with them.

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