Saying Michigan State is “on a roll” after two double digit wins might be a bit of an exaggeration but the Spartans have a chance for their first three game winning streak in a month as they square off against the Northwestern Wildcats Sunday afternoon in East Lansing.
The Wildcats (10-5, 1-1) split their first two conference games against Rutgers and Wisconsin. Northwestern handled Rutgers in New Jersey for a 51-47 victory but could not compete against the powerhouse Badgers.
Northwestern has a noticeable size advantage. They feature two guards at 6’3″ which could create match-up problems for the smaller MSU guards. The post doesn’t look much better with seven footer Alex Olah patrolling the paint for the Wildcats. Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling struggled early in the Iowa game against the bigger Gabe Olaseni. Those two will have to avoid foul trouble when guarding the bigger center.
The Wildcats rely mostly on its two guards, Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh for scoring. Demps and McIntosh both average about 12 points per game.
This game should be a defensive struggle with both teams allowing just over 60 points per game. If the Spartans can turn the game into a shootout, they should have a substantial advantage.
Michigan State took care of business against the Wildcats three times last season with margins of victory of 14, 15 and 16. While the Spartans sometimes forget to set their alarms for weekend afternoon games, the Wildcats don’t look to have the scoring power to keep up with an, at times, potent MSU offense.
Prediction: MSU 65-50
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports