Iowa (21-11) vs. (8) Michigan State (24-7)|
Friday, March 15, 8:55 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: United Center (20,917) -- Chicago, Illinois.
Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Iowa 16-2, MSU 17-1. Away Record:
Iowa 2-8, MSU 6-5. Neutral Record: Iowa 3-1, MSU 1-1. Conference Record: Iowa
9-9, MSU 13-5. -Series Record: Michigan State leads, 67-53.
GAME NOTES: The quarterfinal round in the 2013 Big Ten Conference Tournament
concludes on Friday night, as the sixth-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes challenge the
third-seeded Michigan State Spartans, with the winner moving on to the
semifinals to tangle with the victory in the Nebraska/Ohio State matchup.
Iowa has quietly put together a solid campaign, going 21-11 overall and an
even 9-9 in conference. The Hawkeyes come in as winners of three straight and
four of their last five after disposing of 11th-seeded Northwestern in
Thursday's opening round. Iowa improved to 15-13 all-time in the Big Ten
Tournament, as the team seeks it third crown and first since 2006.
Michigan State is hoping for a lengthy spring run after going 24-7 overall and
13-5 in Big Ten play this season to finish in a tie for second place. The
Spartans have key wins over Kansas, Boise State and Texas in non-league play,
as well as Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa in
conference. Coach Tom Izzo's club did however lose to regular-season champ
Indiana twice, and it recently snapped a three-game skid by winning its final
two regular-season bouts. MSU is second to only Ohio State in terms of total
Big Ten Tournament titles with three, its most recent coming last year when it
defeated the Buckeyes in a 68-64 final.
As mentioned, Michigan State won the only meeting with Iowa during the regular
season, 62-59, on the Hawkeyes' home floor back on Jan. 10. As a result, the
Spartans have claimed victory in 24 of the last 32 encounters between the two,
and leads the all-time series by a 67-53 margin.
Iowa has a pair of All-Big Ten honorees in Third-Teamer Roy Devyn Marble (14.1
ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.8 apg) and Honorable Mention selection Aaron White (13.6 ppg,
6.2 rpg), and the club ranks among the league leaders in scoring offense (70.7
ppg) while sitting at the top in FG percentage defense (.387) and 3-point FG
percentage defense (.291) -- all stats involving regular-season games only.
Marble scored 19 points, Mike Geselle had 13 and Melsahn Basabe logged a
double-double consisting of 10 points and 12 rebounds, all of which were
needed for the Hawkeyes to knock off Northwestern in Thursday's opening round.
Iowa shot just 37.1 percent from the floor, but held the Wildcats to 36.7
percent, while easily winning the battle on the boards (48-31).
Michigan State has been getting it done at both ends of the court this season,
scoring nearly 70 ppg, while allowing fewer than 60. The Spartans are led by
standout performers Keith Appling (13.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.7 apg) and Gary Harris
(13.2 ppg, .419 3-point FG percentage), the latter of whom was tabbed as the
Big Ten's Freshman of the Year. Adreian Payne (10.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) rounds out
the unit's double-digit scorers, while also spearheading its rebounding
effort, which currently stands at +6.8 margin, and the team has also done a
masterful job of limiting open looks at the basket, with foes converting their
field goal attempts a mere 39.2 percent of the time.
MSU is one of the favorites to win this tourney, and it should certainly be
able to survive this matchup despite what promises to be a spirited effort put
forth by the Hawkeyes.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan State 68, Iowa 60
03/15 10:33:08 ET