Michigan St Spartans vs. Michigan Wolverines Pick & Prediction JANUARY 30th 2024

The implications of a Michigan-Michigan State matchup in men’s basketball often goes beyond bragging rights. Not this time. There’s a lot less buzz about their game at East Lansing, Mich., on Tuesday night than usual. Neither team is ranked and both teams haven’t come close to meeting expectations.

The Spartans (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten), who started the season ranked in the top 10, find themselves tied for seventh place with three other teams in the conference standings. The Wolverines (7-13, 2-7) currently occupy the cellar.

“Let’s face it, we’ve both been involved in championship runs at this time of year or later, in the last 10 years, it seems like,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “Right now, we’re both struggling a little bit. Is it just about basketball? Everything seems to be about yourself now, but I still think the rivalry is important.”

Michigan State had a five-game winning streak snapped with road losses to Northwestern and Illinois early this month. The Spartans then reeled off three conference victories, only to get manhandled by then-No. 13 Wisconsin 81-66 on Friday.

“Right now, both teams are looking for their team to play a little more consistent for 40 minutes, not for 30, not for 35, not for 20,” Izzo said. “I know that’s what we’re looking for. We’ve had some great outings lately, we’ve had some great halves, we just haven’t had many great full games. That’s what you need to do to win, especially on the road.”

The Wolverines have lost their last three games and eight of their last nine. They were defeated at home by Iowa 88-78 on Saturday. Michigan fell apart late, scoring just one field goal in the last 10 minutes.

“Letting the defense affect our offense,” guard Nimari Burnett said. “I feel like it was a lot of open looks. I myself had a few, and a couple other guys had some looks that were great shots that we’ll take any day.”

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping