Tonight ranks among important contests for Spartans

The MSU men’s basketball team travels to take on Iowa tonight in what is a game they cannot afford to lose.

With this being a soft early stretch, columnist Graham Couch writes that the Spartans can’t afford to be anything less than 4-1 in the league if they hope to challenge for another conference title.  After tonight’s game at Iowa, MSU has games against Big Ten cellar-dwellers Nebraska and Penn State.

Is tonight a must-win in your mind?

The talk of must-wins leads to another item about impactful games. The Big Ten Network and CBSSports.com have both recently taken a look at what will be some of the most impactful games throughout the course of the season.

The Big Ten Network took a look at seven games that will have the biggest role on deciding a Big Ten champion and the Spartans accounted for two of those. MSU’s home game against Michigan on Feb. 12 was selected as the fifth biggest game, while the home contest against Indiana on Feb. 19 ranked seventh.

Here is what’s written about both matchups.

Michigan at MSU: One of the fiercest rivalries in college sports will have plenty of extra juice with so much likely riding on this game. Could the balance of power be shifting in the state? Hmmm.

Indiana at MSU: The Spartans have been the standard bearer in the Big Ten over the past 15 years. But the Hoosiers appear to be building something special under Tom Crean. Michigan State point man Keith Appling will need to play near-flawless for the Spartans to win—and MSU will be have flex its considerable muscle with twin towers Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix.

CBSSports.com took a look at the 30 games to watch in conference play nationally. MSU’s road game against Ohio State on Feb. 24 ranked 18th and its home contest with Illinois on Jan. 31 was ranked 27th.

Michigan State at Ohio State: Neither team will be in the Big Ten title race, but it’s always a tight contest — and it could help for seeding in March.

Illinois at Michigan State: The jury is still out on Illinois, despite its win over Ohio State. Will either of these teams be in the mix for first place by this point?

As you gear to watch tonight’s game against Iowa, Graham Couch has the tipoff with all the matchups and here is a piece on Sexton graduate Anthony Clemmons, who is the starting point guard for the Hawkeyes.

In a football item, ESPN came up with an All-Big Ten bowl team and several Spartans made the list. Running back Le’Veon Bell, defensive end Will Gholston, linebacker Max Bullough and punter Mike Sadler were selected among the top Big Ten performers in bowl games.

On the football recruiting note, ESPN came out with its updated player rankings for the 2013 class and a pair of MSU players were featured among the nation’s top 300 players. Cincinnati Moeller linebacker Shane Jones ranked No. 188 and Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep quarterback Damion Terry ranked at 282 on the listing. MSU’s class is ranked 34th nationally by ESPN.

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18 Responses to Tonight ranks among important contests for Spartans

  1. avatar 79 Spartan says:

    While I would like to see the Spartans absolutely take care of business at Iowa, I have a feeling that it will end up being a grinder and we will win ugly.

    I wonder what refs will be calling the game?

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      and of course BTN says, is power shifting in the state..

      ummm how many final fours they been too ?

      btn is getting worse and worse

  2. avatar headeast says:

    Free Matt Costello…

  3. avatar '89 Chemistry says:

    It’s too early in the B1G to declare must-wins. But every loss increases the chances of having too many must-win games late in the season–and different games have different prospects. Some people think Iowa will make the NCAAT this year; if so, a Spartan win will be substantial. A loss means that MSU will have to pull some road upsets and beat almost everyone at home to win the title–but I don’t think MSU would be the only title contender to lose in Iowa City should that happen.

    I give MSU a 52% chance, and predict 69-68 Spartans. No tacos. But at least there’s a Chik-Fil-A down the road…

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      And I hope to God that Chick Filet is not MSU destination the next time they win the Big Ten Outright and are ranked outside the top 5. Hopefully you were not referring to that.

      MSU 67
      Iowa 62
      Grinder with a clutch bucket late.

  4. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Only reason this game is of import is that it appears to be a road game the Spartans can steal. Hold serve at home, and steal a few on the road. BTN is so predictable and CBS? Last time little Sethie Davies got something about the B1G right was well never.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      It is important in the need to have double digit wins in the BIG have to beat everyone in the bottom half of the league on the road.

  5. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Would you get a load of Cheese-it Couch trying to act like he’s the only one with an inside scoop!

    First: Scott Dochterman tweeted the Marble news to tweeterville, not to Grahm Cracker.

    2nd, what’s the Spartan’s reaction to this news? Oh, sorry, Couch has no access to the Spartans.

  6. avatar The Tanner says:

    Marble grab some pine baby !!!

    Bird don’t do nuthin baby !!!

    Nixer go missing baby !!!

    The Tanner got the inside scoop baby !!!

  7. avatar SteveL says:

    This team is so painful to watch as a road team. So many failures in the basics – like holding onto the ball !!!! Bring it- in the second half.

  8. avatar Trophy says:

    We’ve played 2 uglier games at Iowa in the past few years, something about that place brings out the worst in us. At least we escaped with he W this time. First team to win 4 road games wins this league. We got one, need the next 3. If Harris can’t play, Trice and Valentine will need to step up.

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      it’s a good win, remember, Indiana went to Iowa City and escaped with a 4 pt win, for whatever reason, it is a tough place to play, the road in general is never easy.

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