The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (25-3, 13-2 Big 10) travel to Allstate Arena to take on the Northwestern Wildcats (15-12, 6-8 Big 10). The Spartans will attempt to continue their nine-game winning streak. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 17, 2018.
Michigan State Spartans at Northwestern Wildcats Free Preview
In the Spartans last outing, they had no trouble getting past the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 87-57. Jaren Jackson Jr. was the games leading scorer with 27 points on 10-for-14 shooting. The Spartans had an absurd offensive rebounding percentage of 48.4 (above their season average of 36.1) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.650 (above their season average of 0.588).
The Wildcats are trying to rebound after their 67-58 loss to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their last contest. With 12 points and 13 rebounds, Dererk Pardon played well for Northwestern. Rutgers 0.233 free throw rate was their largest advantage over Northwestern, who had a rate of 0.082. The Scarlet Knights mark was above their season average of 0.197, while the Wildcats was below their season average of 0.234.
Northwestern might have difficulty finding the bottom of the net as they go head-to-head against one of the nations best defenses. Michigan State currently ranks 12th in defensive efficiency while the Wildcats rank 203rd in offensive efficiency.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Spartans won the lone game last season, 61-52. The Spartans dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a solid free throw rate of 0.306 and a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 32.3. For those same stats, the Wildcats were 0.132 and 15.4, respectively.
Michigan State Spartans vs. Northwestern Wildcats Prediction
Free Basketball Tip: SU Winner – Michigan State, ATS Winner – Michigan State, O/U – Under
- The Spartans average 7.7 blocks per game, which ranks first in the NCAA. The Wildcats rank 104th in blocks allowed per game (3.4).
- Northwestern ranks 199th in steals per game (5.2) while Michigan State ranks 241st (4.3).
- Michigan State ranks sixth in rebounds per game (41.4) while Northwestern ranks 210th (33.9).
- The Spartans rank first in assists per game (20.4) while the Wildcats rank 142nd in assists allowed per game (13.6).
- Northwestern ranks 39th in three pointers allowed per game (19.4) while Michigan State ranks 155th (22.2).
- The Wildcats have been outscored by an average of 3.8 points in their last five games. For the season, Northwestern has defeated opponents by an average of 4.0 points.
- During their last five games, the Spartans have scored an average of 78.0 points per game (5.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 68.6 points per game (3.6 above their season average).