The Michigan State Spartans are on the road to face their Big 10 rival Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday for their first game of 2021. The Spartans have lost their last three games, all three coming to conference opponents. The Cornhuskers bring a 4-6 overall record into Saturday's matchup. Neither Nebraska nor Michigan State is playing to their full potential thus far, so this game could be a big turning point for either of these teams.
Fixture: Michigan State Spartans vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, 8 PM ET
Venue: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Michigan State Spartans Preview
The Michigan State Spartans have been unable to recover from their conference-opening loss to the Northwestern Wildcats, and have started Big 10 play with a 0-3 record. The Spartans lost their last game to the No. 21 Minnesota Golden Gophers by 25 points. Although they have lost their last three games, the Spartans did start the season on a six-game win streak. With a victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, the Spartans would improve to 7-3 on the season.
Key Player - Rocket Watts
The Michigan State Spartans' offense has been patient with their sophomore guard, Rocket Watts. Unfortunately, over the past five games, Watts has been ice-cold shooting the basketball. Rocket Watts is a huge part of this Spartan team, and they will need him to find his stroke in this game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Rocket Watts has combined for 12 points in 70 minutes of court time since transitioning to point guard at the beginning of Big 10 conference play. Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo is now reportedly planning on moving Watts back to the shooting guard position. If Watts can return to his usual form, it could be the difference-maker for the Spartans on Saturday.
Michigan State Spartans Predicted Lineup
F Joey Hauser, F Aaron Henry, G Rocket Watts, G Joshua Langford, G Foster Loyer
Nebraska Cornhuskers Preview
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have been unable to find their stroke in the talented Big 10 conference thus far. The Cornhuskers lost their last game to the Ohio State Buckeyes by 36 points and were unable to make any adjustments on the defensive end. Teddy Allen has been the most consistent scorer for the Cornhuskers, but they will need a big night from each of their players for a win over the Spartans on Saturday.
Key Player - Teddy Allen
The Nebraska Cornhuskers will be hoping for a big performance out of their junior guard Teddy Allen. Averaging a team-leading 17.7 points per game, Allen has dictated the pace for the Cornhuskers' offense all year.
The Cornhuskers are struggling to create offense thus far, and will need to give Teddy Allen options for passes in case of a double team. Allen has been able to find the basket with consistency, but needs to have a very big night if his team is going to take down the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday.
Nebraska Cornhuskers Predicted Lineup
F Yvan Ouedraogo, F Lat Mayen, G Dalano Banton, G Trey McGowans, G Teddy Allen
Michigan State vs. Nebraska Prediction
The Michigan State Spartans are in desperate need of a win, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are right there with them. The Spartans will need to have a great night on offense, but with the help of Rocket Watts and Joey Hauser, I predict they will be able to make the necessary adjustments and handle the Cornhuskers on Saturday.
Where to watch Michigan State vs. Nebraska
The game will be broadcast live on the B1G network.Published 01 Jan 2021, 19:40 IST