When it comes to Big Ten basketball, there aren’t many who know the state of Michigan better than former MSU All-American Steve Smith. I caught up with Smith and asked him for three bold predictions leading up to tonight’s much-anticipated Michigan-Michigan State matchup. [ MORE: Ready for tonight? Michigan vs. Michigan State preview ] BTN.com: Who wins the scoring battle between Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris? Smith: I think Gary Harris. The reason why is because that 3-point shot of his. Both of those guys can shoot the basketball tremendously from a high level, but I think Michigan State has
The last time Michigan visited Michigan State, it marked the first time the two programs played as top 10 teams. The Spartans rolled to a 75-52 victory in that one. Here’s to hoping Saturday night’s battle is more contested. After all, this one in the Breslin Center marks the Big Ten’s first meeting between teams with 6-0 conference records or better. Really. [ MORE: Michigan State to wear 1979 throwback Saturday night ] WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Series history All-time: Michigan, 95-76 In East Lansing: Michigan State, 47-36 Recently: Michigan State has won 20 of last 27 Winning streaks
Saturday’s Michigan vs. Michigan State men’s basketball game is without question the biggest Big Ten hoops game of the year, up to this point. The Spartans (7-0, 18-1) and Wolverines (6-0, 14-4) are the only two remaining undefeated teams in the Big Ten conference. With any game of this magnitude comes plenty of hype. Our friends over at Flying Deer Films released the following video trailer today, previewing tomorrow’s huge Big Ten matchup. Enjoy!
Did you miss something while you stepped away from your computer? We’re tracking some of the best Big Ten social media happenings and posting them all right here. Check out today’s edition, including a photo of Penn State fans photobombing ESPN announcers at last nights Penn State-Nebraska men’s hoops game. Like what you see? We do this every weekday. Visit our Clicks archive. Here are Friday’s B1G Clicks: Penn State Basketball pic.twitter.com/aBDPPRIy6n — Dan (@sharpalright) January 24, 2014 Our take: Penn State fans get in on the “Free Bieber” madness. ESPN College Gameday before today's @MSU_Basketball practice. #GoGreenWearWhite @ESPNCBB @ESPN_ReceDavis
Michigan’s offense continued its surge into the nation’s elite in an impressive win over Iowa. In true Beilein-ball fashion, it was a high conversion rate on twos and a low turnover rate that propelled the Wolverines. Nik Stauskas is making a case for Big Ten player of the year, and he continues to show that he is #notjustashooter: INSTANT HIGHLIGHT: What was better here, @umichbball fans: Nik Stauskas' crossover? Or the dime? WATCH – http://t.co/VHl3YsbtSH — Michigan on BTN (@BTN_Michigan) January 23, 2014 There are still plenty of conference games to be played, but Stauskas currently has the most impressive
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Who had the more impressive win Wednesday? Two answers: #BTNMichigan or #BTNMinnesota. Select your choice below and tweet out your vote. We’ll be tabulating the hashtag totals all day and throughout the show. The hashtags are: No. 25 Michigan over No. 10 Iowa – #BTNMichigan Minnesota over No. 8 Wisconsin – #BTNMinnesota
Here’s a safe assumption: Caris LeVert wouldn’t have been able to pull off the kind of highlight he did in Wednesday night’s win over No. 10 Iowa. The steal part, sure, he could have done. As for the driving to the hoop and jumping off his wrong foot and throwing down a powerful left-handed poke, we’re not so sure. Watch the highlight in this post. INSTANT HIGHLIGHT: Caris LeVert steals it, & hammers down left-handed @umichbball dunk WATCH – http://t.co/7ISiwCgyWm — Michigan on BTN (@BTN_Michigan) January 23, 2014 And check out this photo of the dunk:
We had two terrific games tonight on the Big Ten Network. Michigan kicked off the action with an impressive 75-67 win over Iowa in Ann Arbor. Minnesota followed with an 81-68 upset victory over Wisconsin at the Barn. Catch up on all the scores, stats and video highlights in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] MINNESOTA 81, WISCONSIN 68 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) DeAndre Mathieu and Mo Walker each scored 18 points, an outside-inside combination that pushed Minnesota to an 81-68 victory Wednesday night over No. 9 Wisconsin, the
We already knew Michigan’s Nik Stauskas was one of the top shooters in the Big Ten. This 3-point dagger last Saturday at Wisconsin was further proof of that. But the 6-6, 205-pound Stauskas also has emerged as one of the top players in the conference. With Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., gone from last year’s national runner-up team, Michigan has needed Stauskas to step up. Adding to the sense of urgency has been the absence of big man Mitch McGary, who has played in just eight games as he recovers from a back injury. Stauskas, a sophomore from Mississauga,
Michigan State continues to rack up wins despite the absence of Adreian Payne, with Indiana serving as the latest victim. This one didn’t come easy, as the Hoosiers’ defense kept them in it for most of the game. Indiana even held a five-point lead with 11 minutes remaining, but it wouldn’t last as the Spartans’ offense came alive down the stretch. Indiana natives Gary Harris and Branden Dawson led the charge, and the outcome was never truly in doubt. Michigan State deserves a lot of credit for its ability to avoid a letdown game as the team deals with injuries.