Opponent Preview: Michigan State

No. 11 Minnesota looks to continue its eight-game winning and opening the Big Ten season with a win against No. 19 Michigan State on Monday. Tip-off at Williams Arena is set for 1:00 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.

No. 11 Minnesota (12-1) vs. No. 19 Michigan State (11-2)
Minneapolis, Minn. – Williams Arena
1:00 p.m. CT – ESPN2 (Roxy Berstein, Jimmy Dykes)

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date
Michigan State enters Monday's contest with a 11-2 (0-0 Big Ten) record. The Spartans are riding a six-game winning streak following a loss to Miami (Fla.) (67-59) on November 28. MSU's other loss came against Connecticut (66-62) but the Spartans responded the next game with a signature win over No. 7 Kansas (67-64).

Coaching Preview
Tom Izzo is in his 18th season with the Spartans and has amassed a record of 423–171. He is known for his post-season success, which includes one national title, six Final Four appearances, and two Big Ten tournament championships. The six Final Four appearances have come within the past 13 seasons. Against the Golden Gophers, Izzo holds a 25-8 record.

Last Meeting
Michigan State defeated Minnesota, 68-61, on Feb. 23, 2012, in Minneapolis. Senior Draymond Green filled up the box score for the Spartans with 17 points and five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Julian Welch had 10 points and eight assists for the Gophers.

Series History
The Spartans hold the all-time series lead by a tally of 63-57 over the Golden Gophers. Michigan State has won 12 of the last 13 meetings against Minnesota.

Hard in the Pain
Michigan State has out-scored its opponents in the paint by an average of +13.9, out-scoring 11 of its 13 opponents. At times, MSU has dominated the paint, including out-scoring Texas Southern (46-10), Oakland (40-16), Miami (30-14), Nicholls State (52-20), Tuskegee (42-26), Bowling Green (42-24), and Texas (30-16).

Projected Starters
C 25 Derrick Nix (6-9, 270, Sr.) – 8.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg
G 14 Garry Harris (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 12.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
G 22 Branden Dawson (6-6, 230, So.) – 9.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg
G 45 Denzel Valentine (6-5, 220, Fr.) – 6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
G 11 Keith Appling (6-1, 190, Jr.) – 14.9 ppg, 4.1 apg

Background
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
Enrollment: 47,800
Conference: Big Ten
Mascot: Spartan
Coach: Tom Izzo (18th Season)


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