Michigan (15-9, 5-6) will host #9 Michigan State (19-4, 9-2) on Tuesday night. The game will tip off at 7pm and be televised on ESPN. This will be the only match up between these in state rivals this season, barring a match up in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan State is led by point guard Kalin Lucas who averages 14.8 ppg and 4.9 apg. Raymar Morgan is not expected to play as he continues to battle an illness, click here for more on Morgan’s status. The Spartans have 3 players that average 9 points per game; Durrell Summers 9.7, Chris Allen 9.6, and Goran Suton 9.5.
Michigan is coming back home after losing a close game at Connecticut. The Wolverines played a strong game against the nations #1 team and look to build on the positives that came out of that game.
I would expect that Crisler will be a full house for this game and the Maize Rage should be out in full force.
We talked about the boiling point for a basketball team in the Purdue Preview. The good news is Michigan has been playing at or near the boiling point recently. They boiled in the second half of the Penn State game and during the entire Connecticut game. Let’s hope they can keep bubbling enough to launch them on a run to close the season and to get them off the dreaded Bubble Watch.
Obviously a win over a ranked Spartan team would help. What doesn’t help is that Michigan is 2-6 in their last 8 games. The good news is there are 7 games left before the Big Ten Tournament. So there is time to put that skid in the rearview mirror. With a win over the Spartans Michigan will have won 2 out of their last 3 and have 5 days to prepare for their next game at Northwestern on Sunday.
For us Michigan fans this is going to be a nerve racking stretch. The last time they played in the NCAA Tournament was 1998 and that seems like a lifetime ago. I have completely forgotten what it is like to have the excitement and anticipation that comes with a NCAA Tournament bid.
All we can do right now as take it one game at a time.