Michigan State vs Purdue preview: Spartans looking to upset No. 1 Purdue on the road


Sarah Smith

Tyson Walker shoot the ball during Michigan State’s 63-61 victory over Iowa on January 26, 2023. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Dominic Carroll, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING —The Michigan State men’s basketball team starts a two-game road trip with the first matchup against No. 1 Purdue on Sunday, Jan. 29, followed by a stop at Madison Square Garden as the Spartans take on Rutgers Saturday, Feb. 29.  

The Spartans come off a narrow 63-61 win over Iowa, getting the sour taste out of their mouths after a difficult loss against Indiana last week. Senior forward Malik Hall returned to the court against the Hawkeyes and provided the Spartans a much-needed boost. 

“If I had to pick a number one star it was Malik [Hall]”, head coach Tom Izzo said. “It is more comforting when he’s out there ’cause he knows where to be, he knows what to do. I was surprised he moved as well as he did.”  

Hall returned to the lineup against Iowa after missing the Spartans’ last three games due to a foot reinjury against Illinois. Hall came off the bench and scored 11 points, shooting 50% from the field.  

Sophomore guard Jaden Akins hit a decisive jumper late in the game to put the Spartans up four with 47 seconds remaining.  

The Hawkeyes would fire back with their own two-point shot by Iowa Senior guard Connor McCaffery. Iowa trailed by two points with eight seconds remaining and was stopped in their tracks by the tight Spartan defense to give the Spartans the win over the Hawkeyes 63-61. 

Sunday’s game at Mackey Arena on Sunday will be the second meeting between the Spartans and the Boilermakers this season.  

“Winning a big game, being 6-4 at the break, I think is a start. We got a tough second half, we’re looking forward to it, including Sunday,” Izzo said. 

Purdue comes off a game against Michigan where the Boilermakers earned a 75-70 win over the Wolverines.  

Purdue is on a seven-game win streak with junior center Zach Edey and freshman guard Fletcher Loyer leading the charge for the Boilermakers. 

Edey and Loyer combined for 36 points against Michigan with Edey also racking up nine rebounds.  

The first game between the two teams ended in a Purdue victory in the final seconds of the game. Since then, Purdue moved to No. 1 in the AP college basketball rankings. 

The Spartans are going to need another important performance from Walker and other key players like A.J. Hoggard, Joey Hauser and Mady Sissoko if they want to stop Edey who’s averaging 21.4 points and 13 rebounds.  

The Boilermakers unveiled their new 1960s throwback uniforms this Friday. They’ll be wearing the uniforms in Sunday’s rematch.  

Rick Mount, the three-time All-American for the Boilermakers who went on to play for the Indiana Pacers revealed the uniforms in a short video on the Boilermakers’ Twitter. 

The Spartans are 14-7 overall this season and 6-4 in the Big Ten.  They are currently in fourth place in the Big Ten standings behind Northwestern. 

Michigan State looks to make a statement with a win and has set its sights on climbing up the ranks in the Big Ten, while the Boilermakers strive to remain virtually untouched at the top of the standings. 

The last time the Spartans defeated an AP top-ranked team was against Duke in the 2019 NCAA tournament. The Spartans have not won a game in West Lafayette since 2014.

However, both teams will need more than fancy new jerseys if they want to win this decisive conference matchup.  

Tip-off is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. from West Lafayette, Indiana.