PREVIEW: MSU eyes season sweep against U-M on the road at Crisler Center
It’s been 1,081 days since the last time the University of Michigan Wolverines defeated MSU, a 79-70 win at the Crisler Center on Feb. 23, 2014.
None of MSU’s current starting five have seen a defeat at the hands of the Wolverines, a streak that can continue until next season as the Spartans (14-9, 6-4 Big Ten) gear up to take on U-M (14-9, 4-6 Big Ten) Tuesday night.
“Let’s keep it that way,” junior guard
Since their first meeting of the season on Jan. 29, both the Spartans and U-M have played one game knowing a turnaround rematch was on the horizon against its rival school.
MSU came away with a win against U-M to snap a three-game losing streak and has since beaten Nebraska back on Feb. 2, putting the Spartans in sight to win their third-consecutive game and sweep the season series against the Wolverines.
U-M, on the other hand, fell to the Ohio State University Buckeyes on Saturday, 70-66 at home and is looking to avoid its third-straight loss.
During his last six games, senior guard Derrick Walton Jr. has served as a crutch for U-M while averaging 19.6 points per game, with
MSU head coach Tom Izzo said during his weekly press conference that he has immense respect for the senior guard and keeping Walton under wraps will be an area of focus heading into the rematch.
“Walton is the key to this team if you ask me,” Izzo said. “He's really upped his game. He has done what a senior should and could do, what you hope all senior do, he's playing the best basketball of his career and we are going to have to contain him somewhat … since our game or even
Walton comes in as U-M’s leading scorer, averaging 14.0 points a
Each of U-M’s
Izzo said since each of U-M’s starting lineup has the ability to hit shots from
“That is what they do, they shoot the ball well, almost as well as taking care of the ball,” Izzo said. “They are, if not the best, one of the top two or three teams in the nation at taking care of the basketball, which is kind of opposite of us. We have done a poor job of that.”
Goins broke his nose against Purdue back on Jan. 24, and Ward was hospitalized because of an illness, but Izzo assured both would be ready for Tuesday.
“I thought (Nick) had his best practice of the year yesterday,” Izzo said. “He's definitely back. He hasn't gained all the weight back. Maybe that helps him a little bit, maybe it hurts him. …
Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.