Michigan State vs. Minnesota, 01/11/17 – Expert Prediction
Written by: Alex Alarcon
Michigan State (11-6, 3-1) vs. #24 Minnesota (15-2, 3-1)
Game Time: Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET, East Lansing, Mich. | Breslin Center
Lines: MSU -4.5
Michigan State and Minnesota meet for second time already in conference play. MSU captured a one-point overtime victory in the Big Ten opener on Dec. 27 in Minneapolis.
The Spartan Defense
Michigan State has held opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field in each of the last five seasons, including finishing second in the nation in field-goal percentage defense in 2012 (.379) and 2016 (.382). The strong defensive effort has carried over to 2016-17, as 10 opponents have been held under 40 percent, as MSU boasts a field-goal percentage defense of .393.
The Spartans have held Big Ten opponents to a .405 field-goal percentage, good for the second best mark in conference play. Every opponent has been held under 47 percent shooting, with Baylor’s .469 mark being the highest by a Spartan opponent this season.
Minnesota men’s basketball team heads back to the road, traveling for its first rematch of the season as it faces Michigan State in East Lansing. The Spartans edged the Gophers, 75-74, in overtime 15 days earlier at Williams Arena.
The Gophers have won back-to-back conference road games for the first time since the 2011-12 season, starting the season 3-1 in Big Ten play for the first time under head coach Richard Pitino, while winning three straight Big Ten games for the second time in Pitino’s tenure.
For the first time since 2013, the Gophers were voted among the nation’s top 25 teams. The Gophers sit in 24th place in the most recent Associated Press poll and USA Today Coaches Polls. Minnesota’s last appearance in the Top 25 came on February 4, 2013, when the Gophers were voted 18th. In the latest edition of the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the Gophers stand in fifth place.
The Golden Gophers are also atop the conference in protecting the rim, blocking 6.7 shots per game, led by Reggie Lynch who leads the league at 3.2 bpg.
- Under is 12-4 in the last 16 meetings in Michigan St.
- Under is 5-2 in Golden Gophers last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 17-7 in Golden Gophers last 24 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Both of these teams have the ability to win this game, as the line may be too close to call, however the Over/Under may be the perfect opportunity. The Spartans defense is getting better each week as the under is 14-6 in the last 20 meetings.
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