Found February 06, 2013 on Banks Of The Red Cedar:
2/6/2013 at 7PM on Big Ten Network Ah. Sweet revenge. That’s the payoff awaiting the Spartans if they can log this one into the win column. I thought Minnesota was overrated at the beginning of conference play, and maybe the Spartans did as well when they played them in the first game and came up empty. Of course, at the time MSU was even more turnover prone and less consistent than they are currently and players like Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne hadn’t yet found their groove. Add to that the fact that Minnesota hit every contested leaner and off-balance prayer in that first game and the recipe was complete for a 76-63 road loss. The Spartans have made adjustments and grown since that time, while I feel that Minnesota has merely stood pat. With luck, they won’t have to call in this guy to get the job done.. Watch this video on YouTube. MINNESOTA The Gophers beat the Spartans on the glass in the first game to the tune of 38-24, with 12 of those yanked down by Trevor Mbakwe. Along with fellow senior Rodney Williams, Minnesota really had their way inside and earned their team far too many second chance opportunities. The pair of guards named Hollins also had productive days, particularly Andre, who dropped 22 points on MSU. The Gophers put forth a great effort and as much as I hate to admit it they outworked the Spartans and did all the little things well on the way to victory. While it is true that it seemed as though none of the contested shots caromed away harmlessly, Minnesota certainly did earn much of their “luck” with some inspired play. I expect them to be tough inside once again and have largely the same game plan since it worked out well for them in the first meeting. MICHIGAN STATE Coach Izzo was not shy about calling out his team’s efforts on the glass in this article and rightly so. While the team has not been terrible it has not lived up to the high standards set forth and must improve. Izzo has always prided himself on having teams that will at the very least outwork anyone they face. His teams are about defense, about rebounding, and it was good to see him give them a reminder. That said, my major concern going into this one is the availability of Gary Harris. Reports are that he will be ready to go, but I have to question how many minutes he will be able to give if his back is still ailing him. Coupled with the definite loss of Travis Trice for this game(at least I have not read anything that has said he would be cleared following his concussion)the Spartans may find themselves terribly thin at guard against a team that is talented at that position. I’ve been a fan of Denzel Valentine and remain so but I’m not sure he can be counted on for production such as he gave versus Illinois(14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists)on a regular basis just yet. With regard to the frontcourt, Payne has proven to be ready for any challenge thus far and while Nix has at times disappeared I believe he will be up for this game and ready to do battle in the trenches. All in all, if the Spartans had all of their weapons available I would say this one could be won by a comfortable margin. Since it would appear as though a few guys will have to log more minutes than they are accustomed to, I am slightly less optimistic. Don’t be crazy—of course I am picking MSU to win. Keith Appling is still playing, right? Clutch Appling (Getty Images) Prediction: MSU 68, MIN 63 Go Green!
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Michigan State Basketball: No. 12 Spartans look to settle the score against No. 25 Minnesota

EAST LANSING — Remember just one month ago when the Golden Gophers were arguably the best team in the nation? Well, the Michigan State Spartans do. The then-No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-5, 5-4) opened the Big Ten season with a 76-63 victory over the then-No. 18 Michigan State Spartans (18-4, 7-2) on the last day of 2012. Fast forward a little more than a month later, and...

Banged-up Spartans expected to play

No. 12 Michigan State expects to have most of its banged-up players in the lineup at Purdue on Saturday night. Keith Appling, Adreian Payne, Gary Harris and Branden Dawson are all expected to play for the Spartans. Appling was knocked out of Michigan State's win over No. 18 Minnesota on Wednesday night, leaving late in the game when his right shoulder popped in and out. Payne...
College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.