Michigan State’s men’s basketball team is getting back into Big Ten action against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The matchup features two teams that look similar on paper. The Spartans are hoping their four game win streak continues and they dominate the visiting Lions.
Game Time: Thursday, January 4th at 7:00pm (US East Coast Time)
Watch the game: Peacock
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Some basics to sound like a pro:
The Spartans are riding a four game win streak and completely different expectations than the last time they played a Big Ten game. Despite finding their rhythm and running off dominating wins, the reality is the Spartans are still winless in conference play. This will be a crucial game for Michigan State to prove their recent improvement is for real.
The Spartans will need their backcourt to continue to adapt to the absence of backup point guard Jeremy Fears, Jr. who was lost (most likely for the season) after being shot in the leg while visiting his hometown over the break.
The Spartans have the depth to counter this loss as point guard AJ Hoggard in particular has elevated his game over the last few weeks. The hope is sophomore Tre Holloman can provide the crucial minutes at backup point guard and the veteran Tyson Walker and Jaden Akins can carry the scoring load.
Penn State University
The Nittany Lions are struggling this year. They had a five game losing streak that included a loss to mutual Spartan opponent Butler (notably, a team MSU beat). The last few weeks have seen the team improve as they have won three of their last four, and both of their last two losses have come in overtime.
The Lions have not played a team with as ferocious a defense as Michigan State has deployed over their last four games. They are also not rebounding at a high rate. Still, they should be ready to give the Spartans a fight.
BBD: 84-68 MSU win
What are your predictions for the game? Let everyone know in the comments below.