The college basketball season is winding down to a close and the
NCAA tournament is rapidly approaching as we get closer and closer
to the March 19th.
Even though all anyone is talking about is the ACC and Big East
conferences there are some pretty good teams out there that have
gone relatively unnoticed this season. They may get respect in the
Top 25 polls, but they donít make headlines like UConn, North
Carolina and Pittsburgh have this year.
Two of the good teams that you havenít really heard much about this
season are the Purdue Boilermakers and Tom Izzoís Michigan State
Spartans. No other teams in the Big Ten conference this season have
made as much of an impact than these two teams, except for the
Fighting Illini who have been solid with the 23rd ranking in the
country and a 23-8 record, but they havenít been able to hang with
the Big Ten leading Spartans. They did however beat the Boilermakers
twice this season.
Although there is still one more game against the second place
Boilermakers, Izzoís Spartans have wrapped up the Big Ten title as
they are three games ahead of Purdue and have already clinched the
conference title in the Big Ten. The only thing really at stake here
is confidence going into the Big Ten tourney and the Big Dance. If
the Boilermakers can pull off the unlikely upset of the number
eighth ranked Spartans, then they will have some much needed
confidence going into both these tournaments.
The Spartans on the other hand will just be trying to remain on top
of their game. Purdue may be coming off a disappointing loss to
Northwestern, but Michigan State comes into this game riding a four
game win streak all against conference opponents with their last
loss ironically being against the Boilermakers back on February 17th
This time the two teams will meet on the Spartans home floor where
they have only lost twice this season to Northwestern, who just beat
Purdue, and North Carolina.
Although Spartans have won games this season as a collective effort
with five players averaging almost ten points a game all season
long, the key to avenging their lost to Purdue back in February will
be the play of the teamís leading scorer Kevin Lucas who is putting
a little over 14 points a contest.
Even though Purdue was able to convincingly beat the Spartans a
little less than a month ago 72-54, I see this game turning out
differently. Michigan State did seem to struggle in their last game
against the lowly Indiana Hoosiers only beating the last place team
in the Big Ten by five points, but you better believe Tom Izzo will
have his players ready to face a tough Purdue team on Sunday.
The Boilermakers could definitely pull off the upset here, but the
Spartans will be way too motivated to let that happen this close to
the Big Dance. This will be a big statement game for both teams, but
I see the Spartans winning their last game of the season against
Bet Jamaica has Michigan State favored by -5.5
with a total of 128.5
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