Michigan State Basketball: Preview and predictions vs. Northwestern

Take a look at our preview and predictions for Friday evening’s Michigan State basketball game against Northwestern.

Michigan State basketball will be hosting Northwestern on Friday night at the Breslin Center and it’s one of the bigger games of the season thus far. While the Wildcats aren’t thought of as an elite team, they are still 12-2 right now and considered one of the biggest surprises in the Big Ten.

A win for Michigan State would mean that it would start the conference season 2-0 with wins over teams that had a combined 23-3 record. The Spartans gained some confidence with a one-point road win over Minnesota on Tuesday night and look to carry that over at home on Friday.

Nick Ward will look to continue his dominant ways in the post, likely without Miles Bridges yet again. The freshman sensation has been putting up 20 points and nearly 10 rebounds consistently in recent games and has a favorable matchup with the Wildcats.

Tom Izzo was pleased with the grit his team showed against the Golden Gophers in a big comeback win, but will it carry over into Friday? We will find out if the Spartans come to play against a pesky Northwestern team.

Here’s how to watch the Michigan State vs Northwestern game:

Date: Friday, Dec. 30
Start Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Location: East Lansing, MI
Venue: Breslin Center
TV: Big Ten Network
Live Stream: BTN2Go

Keys to Victory

Guarding the perimeter has to be the biggest key for the Spartans as well as rebounding. While Northwestern shoots about 38 percent from behind the arc, the Wildcats have a few guys who can really drain the long ball. Making sure Scottie Lindsey and Vic Law don’t down the Spartans with the three-ball will be crucial.

Offensively, feed Nick Ward as much as humanly possible. The freshman forward is having an All-Big Ten type of season and he needs to be getting the ball more often than not down low. If only he could work on his free throw shooting.

Betting Odds

Point Spread: Michigan State -2

Prediction

There’s no scary offensive threat like Kevin Coble who used to give the Spartans nightmares, but Scottie Lindsey is going to have a big game. The Spartans and Wildcats will have a back-and-forth battle and it will be relatively low-scoring, something Northwestern is known for. Michigan State will finally show up at the free throw line and that’ll be the difference in this one as Ward finishes with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Final Score: Northwestern 61, Michigan State 66

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