The Spartans will be looking to earn their third consecutive win and climb back up the standings in a competitive Big Ten conference. The Hawkeyes won their most recent outing against Rutgers but have lost their previous two games when on the road.
This will be the second time these two programs face off this month. Iowa pulled out an 84-78 victory on their home court in the first outing on Feb. 2. However, this time around, Michigan State will be the home team, and the Iowa Hawkeyes have failed to earn a win playing in the Jack Breslin Student Events Center since January of 2016.
Fixture: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Michigan State Spartans - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date and Time: Saturday, February 13, 2:30 PM ET
Venue: Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Iowa Hawkeyes Preview
The Iowa Hawkeyes were able to come away with a 79-66 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, ending a two-game losing streak.
The Hawkeyes looked aggressive and motivated as it was their first game since being knocked out of the top 10 of the Associated Press poll. Most of their scoring came from their best players, Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp, who combined for 48 on the night.
Here's what Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery had to say after the bounce-back win:
"It was huge. It’s what you hoped would happen. Those guys have been playing pretty good. Even though we were losing games, those guys were putting up big numbers."
The win gave Iowa their fifth victory against a ranked opponent this season, the most of any team in the country. They will now have a lighter stretch coming up, giving them a chance to regain some ground on the Big Ten.
However, they will need to make sure they remain focused against the Michigan State Spartans, a team that has caused them trouble in the past.
Key Player - Joe Wieskamp
Joe Wieskamp is the key player for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Wieskamp is averaging 15.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists on 50% shooting.
He scored a season-high 26 points and was crucial in allowing the Hawkeyes to maintain a first-half lead after Garza went scoreless for the first 12 minutes against Rutgers.
Luka Garza showed his appreciation after the game when asked about his teammate:
"He’s been playing like that all season, and it’s really been helping me a lot. He’s consistent, he’s locked in, and he’s doing his thing. In the first half, when I was missing some shots I normally make, he really picked us up."
Wieskamp's impressive play this season has Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo worried coming into the game, via The Only Colors.
Iowa Hawkeyes' Predicted Lineup
C Luka Garza, G Jordan Bohannon, G Connor McCaffery, G Joe Weiskamp, G CJ Fredrick
Michigan State Spartans Preview
The Michigan State Spartans were able to edge out Penn State late on to earn a 60-58 victory on Tuesday night.
It was a must-win for the Spartans as they came into the game listed in the "first four out" of the NCAA March Madness tournament seedings prior to tip-off.
The win is a step in the right direction for the Spartans, who have been inconsistent in conference play this season. However, they are still not satisfied. Here's what junior forward Aaron Henry had to say during the post-game interviews:
"We got a big game this weekend. Penn State played hard, but we got a win."
The Michigan State Spartans have a lot to prove on Saturday. If they can pull off an upset over the Iowa Hawkeyes, it will certainly get the college basketball committee's attention.
Key Player - Rocket Watts
The Michigan State Spartans are still looking for someone to take control of the offense and run the point guard position.
Rocket Watts was originally thought to be the next man to replace Cassius Winston, but he has not been able to provide what coach Izzo was looking for.
However, Watts remains rotated in and out of the lineup. A few weeks ago, when Tom Izzo was asked about Watts inconsistent minutes, he gave us this:
"He had an unbelievable day yesterday [in practice]. He looked like some of my old point guards and when he got back in the game, he just reverted back a little bit."
If Watts can become the answer the Michigan State Spartans are looking for in the point guard position, they will knock off the Iowa Hawkeyes and earn a bid into the tournament, despite having an up-and-down year.
Michigan State Spartans' Predicted Lineup
F Aaron Henry, F Malik Hall, C Marcus Bingham Jr, G Joshua Langford, G Foster Loyer
Iowa vs Michigan State Match Prediction
The Iowa Hawkeyes are the better team at the moment over the Michigan State Spartans. They play much better and earn consistent production from their star players game in and game out. You can't say the same for the Michigan State Spartans.
We expect the Iowa Hawkeyes to come away with a win on Saturday and earn a regular-season sweep against the Michigan State Spartans.
Where to watch Iowa vs Michigan State
The game will be broadcast live on FOX.