No. 4/4 Michigan State Hosts Michigan on Saturday
East Lansing, Mich. -
Michigan State's men's basketball team is back in action on Saturday, Jan. 13, hosting Michigan in the lone regular season meeting between the teams this season. Tipoff is slated for noon at the Breslin Center.
The game will air live on FOX, with Gus Johnson calling the play-by-play, Jim Jackson serving as the color analyst and Lisa Byington on sidelines. The Spartan Sports Network radio call can be heard on one of 38 affiliates and on the web at SpartanSportsNetwork.com, with Will Tieman handling the play-by-play and Matt Steigenga serving as the color analyst. The game can also be heard on Sirius/XM and Internet 84.
The Spartans, winners of 15 of their last 16 games, improved to 16-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten on Wednesday with a 76-72 overtime win against Rutgers. MSU is ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.
Michigan State has five players scoring in double figures, led by sophomore guard/forward Miles Bridges, who was selected to the John R. Wooden® Midseason Top 25 earlier this week. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts, the midseason list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport's most prestigious honor, based on their performances during the first half of the 2017-18 season.
Bridges leads Michigan State in scoring with 16.5 points per game, is second on the team with 7.5 rebounds and is averaging 3.1 assists and 1.1 blocks. He ranks sixth in the Big Ten Conference in scoring, tied for ninth in rebounding, 16th in blocked shots and leads the league in free throw percentage (88.6 percent). Bridges is the only player in the country averaging at least 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3,0 assists and one block per game.
Sophomore forward Nick Ward, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Rutgers, is second on the team in scoring with 14.7 points and leads the team with 7.7 rebounds, which ranks seventh in the league. Ward leads the Big Ten, and is No. 3 in the country, connecting on 70.7 percent of his shots from the field.
Sophomore guard Joshua Langford is third on the team with 13.8 points per game and has scored at least 15 points in seven of the last 13 games. Sophomore guard Cassius Winston is fourth on the team with 12.8 points and leads the team with 7.2 assists per game. Winston leads the Big Ten, and ranks 10th nationally, in assists. Freshman forward Jaren Jackson is averaging 11.1 points and 6.4 rebounds and leads the team, and ranks No. 11 in the country, with 3.1 blocked shots per game.
MSU ranks No. 1 in the country in field goal percentage defense (34.5 percent), No. 1 in scoring margin (+22.9 points per game), No. 1 in blocked shots per game (8.0), No. 2 in rebound margin (+11.8 rpg) and No. 20 in scoring defense (63.0 ppg). The Spartans also rank No. 3 in the country in field goal percentage (51.9 percent), No. 1 in assists (21.7 apg) and No. 17 in scoring offense (85.9 ppg).
This will be the 180th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 98-81, but the Spartans own a 49-37 advantage in games played in East Lansing. MSU has won 25 of the last 35 games overall. Tom Izzo is 25-15 in his career against the Wolverines, including a 15-4 record at the Breslin Center.