The Annual Showcase is a Fan Favorite
The Michigan State Spartans and the Louisville Cardinals will meet on Tuesday at KFC Yum! Center. The Spartans looks to extend its winning streak to six games as they play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The No. 8 Spartans are coming off a title at the Las Vegas Invitational. They beat UCLA and No. 17 Texas on consecutive nights. The Cardinals have dropped two straight. They lost to No. 7 Tennessee and Marquette in overtime at the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE: Michigan State -5; O/U: 154.5.
Michigan State guard Cassius Winston runs the show for coach Tom Izzo. He is coming off an MVP performance at the Las Vegas Invitational, where he averaged 19.5 points and 8.5 assists. Winston’s back-court mate, Joshua Langford, averages a team-best 18.5 points. He had a career-high 29 points in the Spartans’ come-from-behind victory over Texas.
Sophomore forward Jordan Nwora has been the top point producer for Louisville this season by averaging 18.4 points and a team-best 7.2 rebounds. This is despite coming off the bench in every game.
Coach Chris Mack uses 10 players on a regular basis. Each of them averaging at least 12.3 minutes, and the Cardinals are averaging 40.6 points from reserves this season.
Spartans Just Reload and Cardinals in Transition
The Michigan State Spartans are 5-1 on the young season. Kenny Goins averages the fewest points of any of Izzo’s five starters with 6.8 per game. He may be one of the most important players for the Spartans in many different areas. The team’s leading rebounder at nine per game, Goins is one of the better defenders on the squad. He’ll likely get the key assignment of trying to slow down Nwora in this contest.
Though he’s shooting only 28.6 percent from 3-point range, Goins has expanded his game to include a long jumper. It gives the Spartans another player to kick it out to off post-ups by forward Nick Ward or drives to the hoop by Winston or Langford.
Louisville is 3-2 on the season and playing well in tonight’s game could be a huge boost.
Louisville has been able to get to the free-throw line often this season. They have made 26 more free throws than its opponents have attempted. Working the ball inside could be a key factor against a Michigan State team that doesn’t feature a shot-blocker. Last year they featured Jaren Jackson Jr. They cover the perimeter as well as any team in the country, allowing opponents to shoot 31.1 percent from 3-point range.
Nwora, forward V.J. King, forward Malik Williams and center Steven Enoch are all averaging at least four trips to the free-throw line per game. They’ll need to have that aggressiveness to get some easy points and slow down the Michigan State transition game.
Louisville has won 49 straight home games in the month of November spanning the last 28 seasons, including 36 at the KFC Yum! Center.
PREDICTION: Michigan State 82, Louisville 73
College Basketball Odds & Trends
Michigan State Spartans:
Team record: 5-1 SU,4-2 ATS
Current Streak: won 5 straight games.
Michigan State is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Michigan State is 6-12-2 ATS in its last 20 games
Michigan State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Team record: 3-2 SU,2-2-1 ATS
Louisville is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Louisville’s last 5 games
Louisville is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
Michigan State at Rutgers Friday, November 30
Louisville at Seton Hall Saturday, December 1
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