#10 Michigan State Basketball at Northwestern FYIs, Stats, Info

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Michigan State basketball began the season flying under the radar, unranked for most of the preconference portion, but they’re back on the map now. Ranked in the top ten once again, in both polls, the Spartans look like they’ll be a major factor in the Big Ten race this year.

The New Year’s slate, where conference season really gets started in earnest, sees MSU visit Northwestern, a place where they didn’t just lose last season, but lost rather convincingly. Will they make amends for that in this Sunday matinee?

tom izzo

FYIs  Michigan State Basketball at Northwestern Wildcats

ESPN Matchup Predictor  52.6%-47.4%  Northwestern wins

Tip: 1pm, Sun Jan 2, BTN

Current Bracketology Projection:   Northwestern-  first 4 out,  MSU- 2 seed

#10 Michigan State Basketball (11-2, 2-0) Preview

Kenpom 19   Sagarin 17   Net 12

Best wins: UConn (Ken Pom 24), Loyola (KenPom 22) Louisville (KenPom 53)

Shooting guard, wing guard, off-the-ball guard Max Christie is probably among the best NBA Draft prospects in the Big Ten, and this game will be a sort of homecoming for him. Christie, who hails suburban Arlington Heights, will be heavily involved in what Sparty tries to do on offense, and will look to make some noise in front of plenty of friends and family.

Northwestern Wildcats (8-2, 1-0) Preview

Kenpom 41   Sagarin 48   Net 45

Best win: @ Maryland (KenPom 56)

They’ve only played once, a win over something that’s referred to as the Illinois-Springfield Prairie Stars, by a score of 90-50, since Dec 12. Two of their last three games have been canceled, due to covid, as the omicron variant is starting to wreak havoc on this college basketball season.

Not just for Northwestern, but for everybody. NU brings a good, balanced team, with a lot of players that have multiple talents, and varied skill sets. Leading the way for NU, as they make a charge to get back to the NCAAs are Chase Audige and Pete Nance.

(Click where highlighted for more on each player)

Michigan State Basketball 79, Northwestern Wildcats 73 

I do think Chris Collins has a squad that will be in the mix for a NCAA Tournament berth this season. Picking up a win over the Michigan State basketball program, in any season, but definitely again this term, helps towards building that resume. I am thinking they will fall just short though.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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