Michigan State Basketball: Game preview, prediction vs. Kentucky

Here’s everything you need to know for Tuesday evening’s Michigan State basketball game against No. 2 Kentucky.

Michigan State basketball opened the 2016-17 season on a somewhat medial note, losing 65-63 to No. 10 Arizona in Honolulu. The game was back and forth after a big run by the Spartans to start, and it showed that Michigan State needs to figure out how to put a full 40 minutes together.

Must Read: MSU Basketball: 5 bold predictions for November

The Spartans were up 17-2, but Tom Izzo’s team began to turn the ball over and fouls became an issue. That can’t happen against Kentucky on Tuesday night. The Wildcats are an impressive team that is also young.

Miles Bridges is the name to watch for the Spartans as he had 21 points and seven rebounds in his first collegiate game, proving he can be this team’s top player — and he will be. For Kentucky, there are a number of players to keep an eye on, such as Isaac Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk.

Tuesday night’s contest between the college basketball’s elite will be one to watch. Can the Spartans match their performance against Kentucky in the 2013-14 Champions Classic and come out on top? Izzo is looking to improve to 6-2 against Kentucky.

Here’s how you can watch Tuesday’s Michigan State basketball game:

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 15
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: New York, N.Y.
Venue: Madison Square Garden
TV: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN

Keys to Victory

Win the battle of the boards. Michigan State held its own in the season opener against Kentucky, tying the Wildcats on the glass, but Kentucky should be an equally tough test. Bam Adebayo, Issac Humphries, Wenyen Gabriel and Derek Willis are the bigs for Kentucky, but the Spartans need to hold their own.

Offensively, limiting turnovers has to be top priority. To start the season, Michigan State played sloppy basketball and that cost the Spartans a victory. Controlling the ball and making smart passes will be key against this athletic team.

Betting Odds

Point Spread: Kentucky -8
Over/Under: 155

Prediction

Michigan State will again have issues in the post, but Kentucky doesn’t have the most elite frontcourt, either. The Spartans will build on their first game against Arizona and take Kentucky down to the wire, but free throw shooting and turnovers will doom them yet again. Izzo does have an impressive team forming, though. All that’s missing is post play.

Final: Michigan State 71, Kentucky 78

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