GAME INFO: Sat., Jan 12, 2007 - 7:35 CST - Carver Hawkeye Arena; Iowa City, IA
IOWA: 7-9 (0-3); RPI: 200 / #6 Michigan State: 14-1 (2-0); RPI: 5
TV COVERAGE: Big Ten Network - DIRECTV (Ch. 220) / DISH Network (Ch. 439)
LISTEN ONLINE - http://www.kscj.com/
OFFICIAL GAME NOTES - View HERE
Michigan State certainly hasn't been blowing teams out this year. The Spartans have only played one true road game this year (winning at Bradley by 5 points). This upcoming game vs. Iowa will be their first Big Ten road game of the year, while it will be only Iowa's 2nd home Big Ten game so far this year.
For MSU, it's pretty much been the Raymar Morgan and Drew Neitzel show. Morgan has improved a lot from last year when he was then rated one of the better freshmen in the nation. Neitzel is still the same guy we've have seen year in and year out. He is a tremendous passer, gutty competitor, and can knock down the big trey when it's needed.
My gut tells me this game is going to be a lot like the Indiana game in regards to the closeness of the game, but my head has to disagree after seeing the Iowa team that showed up at Ohio State. MSU has a good number of trees on their roster, I am not sure if Iowa's bigs can matchup with them at all. The Spartan bigs will be rotating in to stay fresh, however Iowa doesn't have that leisure with really only a trio of guys in the paint this year with the loss of Cole.
In order for Iowa to keep it close, the same basic formula needs to hold true for Iowa.
1.) Limit the 2nd chance opportunities for MSU.
2.) Limit turnovers.
3.) Hit the 3 pointers.
4.) Play solid, fundamental defense.
Also, in this game, we need to see some of the Hawkeyes get to the foul line. Freeman, Johnson, Peterson, and Kelly all need to attack the basket. This is ESPECIALLY true if the outside shots are not falling. Iowa cannot continue to throw bombs from the outside, make 1/4 of them, and expect to be competitive.
Iowa - 63
Michigan State - 71
(I've changed that prediction score about 15 times now, with the Iowa loss ranging from 5 points to 21 points... I am keeping it at an 8 point loss for Iowa. If it wasn't for that last game at tOSU, I'd be a little more optimistic.)