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No. 2/1 Michigan State Hosts Illinois on Tuesday for Senior Day

Feb. 19, 2018


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Michigan State’s men’s basketball team will play its final regular season game at home on Tuesday, Feb. 20, hosting Illinois on Senior Day at Breslin Center. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

On the Air
The game will be shown live on ESPN, with Dave Flemming calling the play-by-play, Fran Fraschilla serving as the col-or analyst and Molly McGrath on sidelines. The Spartan Sports Network radio call can be heard on one of 38 affiliates and on the web at, with Will Tieman handling the play-by-play, Matt Steigenga serving as the expert color analyst and Dalton Shetler as the studio host. The game can also be heard on Sirius, XM and Internet 84.

Carter, Nairn Jr. and Schilling to be Recognized on Senior Day
A trio of Michigan State players will be recognized on Senior Day against Illinois at the Breslin Center on Feb. 20 ... Graduate transfer Ben Carter, senior Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr. and redshirt senior Gavin Schilling will be honored in ceremonies following the game ... Carter came to MSU as a graduate transfer after spending two seasons at UNLV ... He sat out last year after a knee injury on the first day of practice, but has played in 20 games and been a valuable frontcourt reserve ... Schilling is one of the most experienced players on the team and started 33 games on the 2015 Final Four Team ... After missing last season with a knee injury, he has appeared in 29 games this year and is averag-ing 3.2 points and 3.7 rebounds ... Nairn Jr. is a three-year captain who is considered one of the great leaders in Mich-igan State history ... He is among the Big Ten’s leaders in assists and the nation’s leaders in assist to turnover ratio.

Last Time Out
Michigan State beat Northwestern, 65-60, on Saturday with the biggest comeback in Big Ten history and among the biggest in NCAA Division I history ... The Spartans comeback from a 27-point deficit (43-16) is the largest in Big Ten history and is tied for the fifth-largest in NCAA history ... MSU went into the half trailing by 22 points (49-27) and out-scored Northwestern, 38-11, in the second half to complete what is tied for the fourth-largest halftime comeback in NCAA Division I history … Sophomore guard Cassius Winston scored 13 of his team-high 17 points in the second half and added nine rebounds and seven assists, while sophomore forward Nick Ward finished with 15 points and 10 re-bounds and freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr. added 11 points.

Top Notes
• With a 26-3 record through 29 games this season, Michigan State is in the midst of the best start in program histo-ry.
• MSU’s 26 wins equal the school mark for most regular-season victories ... The 1999, 2009 and 2016 teams all en-tered postseason play with 26 wins.
• Sophomore Miles Bridges is one of only three players in the country averaging at least 17.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.9 blocks per game.
• Sophomore guard Cassius Winston is the only player in the country averaging at least 12.0 points, 7.0 assists and shooting at least 50.0 percent from 3-point land.
• Michigan State’s sophomore class –Bridges, Langford, Winston and Ward – has accounted for 65.6 percent of the team’s scoring (1,571 of 2,396 points), 49.2 percent of its rebounds (588 of 1,194) and 59.0 percent of the team’s assists (347 of 588) ... Together they are averaging 54.1 points, 20.3 rebounds and 12.0 assists.
• Michigan State’s standard starting lineup –Bridges, Langford, Winston, Ward and Jackson Jr. – has combined for a 24-3 record this season ... Together, they are averaging 65.7 points, 26.2 rebounds and 13.2 assists. • MSU ranks No. 1 in the country in field goal percentage defense (36.2 percent), No. 2 in scoring margin (+17.8), No. 1 in blocked shots per game (7.4), No. 2 in rebound margin (+10.6) and No. 22 in scoring defense (64.8 ppg).
• MSU also ranks No. 3 in field goal percentage (51.4 percent), No. 1 in assists (20.3 apg) and No. 28 in scoring of-fense (82.6 ppg).

Series Notes
• Michigan State and Illinois meet for the 120th time on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
• The Spartans lead the head-to-head series, 60-59, including an 87-74 win in Champaign last month.
• The Spartans have won 11 of the last 17 against Illinois and 13 of the last 20.
• Nineteen of the last 22 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
Tom Izzo is 23-17 in his career against the Illini.

The Opponent
• Illinois enters the game on Tuesday, Feb. 20 with a 13-15 overall record and 3-12 mark in the Big Ten. • The Fighting Illini are coming off a 72-66 win over Nebraska at home on Sunday.
• Illinois has lost four of its last five games and 10 of the last 13 overall.
• Junior forward Leron Black leads the team with 15.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
• He is one of two players scoring in double figures, along with freshman guard Trent Frazier, who is second with 12.3 points and is tied for the team lead with 2.8 assists.
• Redshirt sophomore forward Kipper Nichols is third on the team with 9.8 points and 4.4 rebounds and junior for-ward Michael Finke is averaging 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds.
• Illinois is seventh in the league in scoring offense (75.6 ppg) and 12th in the league in scoring defense (72.5 ppg) ... They also rank second in the Big Ten with 7.4 steals per game.



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