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Maui, Not Detroit: MSU-UConn Game Thread

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7:00. ESPN.

If ever there was an MSU game that defied pregame analysis, it's this one. MSU is coming off a much-too-close call against a Division II opponent (who lost to Wichita State by 19 today, BTW; screw you, transitive property), while visions of past preseason tournaments flameouts spin in our heads. The opponent, meanwhile, is a big name, but a big name with relatively little experience.

A loss tonight would really be problematic from the standpoint that the team would then have extremely low confidence levels going into a consolation match with the Kentucky-Washington loser (that game follows ours). Leaving Maui without a win over a Division I opponent would make for a very long plane ride home.

Brief attempt at analysis: This game should give us a much better sense as to how concerned we should be about MSU's mediocre rebounding performance to date--particularly on the defensive end. UConn ranked 18th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage last season, and the Huskies have pulled down a very healthy 44.4% of available offensive boards so far this season.

Beyond that, keep an eye on Kemba Walker at all times, and let's see where the early season bizarro universe chips fall for our Spartans. I'm certainly not expecting anything approaching the masterpiece MSU put together the last time these two teams met. At this point in the process, we don't need "brilliant," just "competent."

Go Green. Beat the Huskies.