Michigan State Spartans vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers - NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day

Michigan St Spartans basketball

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 8:19 PM GMT

Granted, the Michigan State Spartans have played 4 AP Top 25 teams in a very rough schedule thus far, but MSU has come out on the losing end of every one of those games and have recently been upset by Northeastern. Tonight, the Spartans will have to face a Minnesota Golden Gophers team which has lost just 1 game all season long. Can the Spartans pull off the upset and get their season back on track?

Michigan State Spartans (8-5) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-1) Big Test For Minny

Even though the Michigan State Spartans sport 5 losses on their record, this is easily the toughest game on the Golden Gophers schedule thus far and even though the Golden Gophers are a 6 point betting favorite, this game is close to a toss-up as Michigan State is always a team to be reckoned with. A victory here would give Minnesota some legitimacy as they look for a way to slip into the AP Top 25.

Nate Mason

He's not the most prolific shooter in the Big Ten Conference as he's hovering around the 40% mark from the field, but guard Nate Mason has proven to be a consistent producer for the Golden Gophers. He get's other players involved and can knock down the occasional 3-ball. Mason, who is the leader of this Minnesota squad, will need to make wise decisions as the Spartans defense will be out in full force. For the season, Mason is averaging 13.2 points, 5.5 assists, and 44.8% from beyond the arc. Minnesota doesn't have a legitimate go-to guy, but Nate Mason is a consistent grinder that the Golden Gophers will receive maximum effort from.

Minnesota will also count on the offense of guard Dupree McBrayer. McBrayer has played rather well as of late, averaging 20 points and 4 assists per game to go along with 14 of 21 shooting from the field in is last 2 games. The only difference in this game for McBrayer is that he's not facing the likes of Arkansas State and LIU Brooklyn, he's facing a perennial powerhouse in the Michigan State Spartans, headed by one of the best coaches in college basketball in Tom Izzo.

Big Game for MSU

Every inter-conference game carries a great deal of importance, but Michigan State need's to get on a winning streak before this season gets's away from them. After their 78-69 loss to Duke, the Spartans proceeded to defeat their next 3 opponents and then came the upset against Northeastern. Not having freshman Miles Bridges (16.6 points, 8.8 rebounds) has certainly hurt MSU and he's not likely to play in tonight's game.

Eron Harris (13.4 points, 3.8 rebounds) and Nick Ward (13.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.9 blocks) will both need to step up their games. Ward has seen an uptick in his 17.6 minutes per game and the freshman has responded. Ward lit up Oakland for 25 points and 9 rebounds and in the loss to Northeastern, he checked in with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Michigan State might not be ready to win it all now, but they sure have a great amount of young talent. Look for the Spartans to keep this game close.

 

Free NCAAB Pick: Spartans +6Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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