The Spartans complete their recent stretch of games against teams at the bottom of the Big Ten and after this game will prepare for perhaps their toughest stretch of the Big Ten season.
MSU is coming off of their best defensive game of the season, holding Purdue to only 52 points while coming up big on the boards. Michigan State out rebounded the Boilermakers 38-18 on their way to a 77-52 rout.
Paul Davis scored 22 points and showed that he is 100 percent healthy again after being hit in the head during practice last week.
The Spartans defense is improving with every game and they even managed to stay out of foul trouble, something that coach Tom Izzo has mentioned as a problem in the last few games.
The Golden Gophers are coming off a win at Penn State on Wednesday and two weeks ago defeated then #13 Indiana 61-42 in Minneapolis. The Gophers can be a dangerous team at times, led by senior guard Vincent Grier who averages a team-high 15 points per game. Senior guard Maurice Hargrow chips in 13 points per game for a Gopher offense that averages just 67 points per game.
Minnesota is 9-4 at home this season while only 1-5 on the road.
Michigan State can control their own destiny from this point forward. They play four more home games and three road games. They have not lost at the Breslin Center all season and if Tom Izzo can get his club to play well in hostile environments such as at Iowa and Indiana, then the Spartans could be looking at a Big Ten title.
With the strength of the Big ten this season, having as many as seven ranked teams at one point in the year, the team that claims the Big Ten title should be highly considered for a number one seed in the NCAA tournament if not maybe a number two seed.
It all starts with the Spartans and their trio of scorers to get the job done in the final stretch. As of late, Drew Neitzel has stepped up his game and is making big shots in games, giving the Spartans an even more potent offensive attack.
The pieces are all slowly coming together for Michigan State, just as Tom Izzo said they would earlier in the year. But of course, the team is never exactly where they want to be, which is at the top of the Big Ten.