Michigan State Purdue CBB

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Michigan State

vs.

Purdue

Big 10

College Basketball Pick

2/9/16

The hopes of winning the regular season Big Ten title are all but gone for Michigan State and Purdue with both having Four Conference losses. But that’s not to say this Game has no relevance with only six Games left before Tournament play begins.

Even with those Four Big Ten losses, MSU still has a shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That’s what happens when you go undefeated in non-Conference play, but nevertheless, the Spartans can ill-afford to lose more than one Game the rest of the way, which means win the rest of their regular season Games or win the Big Ten Tournament. It’s not out of the question with how they have looked as of late.

The same can’t exactly be said about Purdue, but it’s not like the Boilermakers haven’t been playing well. Their only two losses in the last month have come on the road at Iowa and Maryland, two Top 10 teams. They get to host another Top 10 team this week in the Spartans. Purdue has only lost one home Game all year and that came against Iowa in the Conference opener. So far for the Spartans, home-cOurt advantage hasn’t been a huge deal as they’ve beaten numerous teams away from East LAnsing.

As with all Purdue Games, the matchups to watch are in the paint where A.J. Hammons lives. No one in the country has the size of the Boilermakers, but the Spartans do have numerous options to throw at them. Hammons has been dominant lately and that’ll be MSU’s first task. When these teams met last year, Hammons was just 3-of-12 from the field for seven points and eight boards. He’ll draw a mix of Matt Costello, Deyonta Davis and Gavin SChilling.

Purdue also throws Caleb Swanigan and Vince Edwards out there, both with size advantages at their respective positions. However, the Spartans should deal with them well, as Swanigan vs. Davis will be a battle of freshmen, and will be fairly even. Swanigan actually committed to Michigan State before changing his mind to sign with Purdue. Meanwhile, Edwards is bigger than Denzel Valentine, but it’s hard to see Edwards winning that matchup.

Then the backcOurt has to go to the Spartans with how they are shooting lately starting with Bryn Forbes, who knocked down eight threes at Michigan on Saturday. Purdue has lacked consistent guard play all season long with P.J. Thompson and Rapheal Davis and those guys will need to play good defense on the perimeter. If not, it probably won’t be a good result for the Boilermakers.

MSU has hit a ridiculous 47 threes (on 80 attempts) in its last three Games, which has led to wins all by at least 16 points. Before that, the Spartans took down Maryland.

Even with that shooting, the big thing to take away is that Michigan State has depth and experience in the frontcOurt to deal with whatever Purdue has. Then you throw in Player of the Year candidate Valentine and the Spartans get the overall edge, even on the road.

With 19 wins on the season, Purdue still doesn’t have a win over a current ranked team. A win here against the Spartans would change that, but it’ll take a much better effort than what they did at Maryland on Saturday, going 3-of-25 from long range.

Predicted Score- Purdue 73 Michigan State 71