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.Â 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 winâ€”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.