Who: #10 Michigan State Spartans (19-4, 6-4 Big Ten)
When: Saturday, February 6th, at 2:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Where: Crisler Center -- Ann Arbor, Mich.
Spread: Vegas: +3.5 | KenPom: L, 71-73 (41% WP)
It's Michigan vs. Michigan State in the only meeting between these two in-state rivals this season. I don't think much else needs to be said to build up the suspense. Usually. However, this could be a crossroads game for the Wolverines. If Michigan loses, it'll have back-to-back home losses before entering a four-game stretch at Minnesota, vs. Purdue, at Ohio State, and at Maryland. This would be a dangerous time for Michigan to begin reeling. But, if Michigan wins, it sits at 8-3 in the Big Ten, adds another quality win to its resume, and rests comfortably within the NCAA Tournament picture. Also, this result will help fans discover what to make of this Michigan team -- something that has been difficult to do, especially with Caris LeVert missing each of U-M's prior nine games.
When I wrote my preview, I predicted that Michigan would fall short vs. MSU:
This is not a good matchup for Michigan, particularly if Caris LeVert sits out again. The thought process was that Michigan would split this homestand, and beating Indiana was the best chance to do that. Michigan State's offense should be able to shred Michigan's defense with its incredible passing and outside shooting, while Michigan likely will be forced to put up difficult jumpers against a stingy defense. Usually, the Wolverines still would have a chance in a game like this because their outside shooting is lethal. However, they have not shot well in recent weeks as their offense becomes stagnant against long, athletic defenses. Unless MSU has a cold day, I'm not seeing a U-M win.
Michigan State 78, Michigan 69
However, there are signs that LeVert could make his return to the court tomorrow.
What do you you think? Will LeVert play? Will Michigan take down State? Share below!