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Spartans Host Hawkeyes in Big Ten Showdown

NCAA basketball’s conference schedule is in full swing and tonight a Big Ten showdown tips off between two nationally ranked schools when the No. 19 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes visit the No. 4 ranked Michigan State Spartans.

Michigan State is currently favored by 7 points in this matchup with the over/under point total not yet released.

Iowa on the season is 12-3 straight up and 7-5 against the spread. The Hawkeyes are 3-0 in Big Ten play. Michigan State on the season is 16-1 SU and 10-6 ATS. The Spartans in Big Ten play are 3-1. Each team has won 9 of its past 10 games overall.

Iowa defeated Michigan State just two weeks ago knocking the Spartans from the unbeaten ranks. However, things have been much different for Iowa when playing in East Lansing. The Spartans have beaten Iowa at home 18 straight times.

Michigan State lost to Iowa 83-70 the first time the teams met this season on December 29 at Iowa. Mike Gesell led the Hawkeyes 25 points, which is his career high.

Prior to the win, Iowa had lost 9 straight to Michigan State overall. Tom Izzo the Michigan State head coach said his team had been outhustled and Iowa had played more physical than his players.

The Hawkeyes are 9-1 over their past 10 games losing just a one-point game to Iowa State heading into this big game with Michigan State.

Anthony Clemmons the Iowa guard did not score on Tuesday when the Hawkeyes beat Nebraska by 11. However, Jarrod Uthoff scored 25 points and Gesell added 22 on the night.

Michigan State has beat Minnesota by 8 points and Penn State and Illinois by a combined 52 points since losing to Iowa. Bryn Forbes scored 20 points to lead the Spartans over Penn State in their most recent game.

Denzel Valentine has returned for the Spartans after sitting out four games with a knee problem and he added 10 points from the bench.

Iowa has a number of players who are shooting well from beyond the three-point arc and that helps to spread defenses out making it easier to get the ball down low.

Michigan State point guard Lourawis Nairn Jr. scores 3.8 points per game with terrible shooting percentages, but is a fantastic court general and distributor of the ball.

Prediction: This game will be close from start to finish and home court should be the difference. I like Michigan State straight up but Iowa against the spread.

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