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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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Big Ten College Basketball Michigan State Spartans at Northwestern Wildcats Start Time, Betting Odds

The Michigan State Spartans and Northwestern Wildcats meet up tonight in Big Ten College Basketball action. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Currently the Betting Odds for the game have the Spartans favored by a couple of buckets on the road.

MIchigan State has struggled to find itself this season, already piling up eight losses on the campaign. That's certainly unusual for a Tom Izzo team, but without a legitimate star on the squad, the Spartans this year have tried piecing things together. They've obviously got talent on the roster, but getting the team to play to its full potential on a nightly basis has been a struggle for Izzo.

At just 6-4 in conference play, the Spartans find themselves tied with Iowa for sixth place in the Big Ten, a full three games back of Wisconsin. The Badgers have shown time after time why they are the best team in the conference this season and Michigan State still has to play them later in the season. But for now, Michigan State has to figure out how to rebound from a home loss against Illinois when the Spartans looked at times like they would cruise to a win.

Northwestern has been in a tough spot all season as well. The Wildcats are three games under the .500 mark for the year and sit at just 1-9 in the Big Ten, the worst mark in the conference. Northwestern has trouble scoring points, not shooting the ball well. And maybe the toughest thing for the Wildcats to overcome this season is that they haven't won in the 2015 calendar year — the Wildcats' last win, and only win in the conference, came over Rutgers way back on Dec. 30 in a 51-47 battle.

Yet, a brief five-game stretch saw the Wildcats push Michigan State, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State and Maryland to close finishes. Northwestern lost those five games by an average of just over three points per contest. Since then, though, the Wildcats have scored 60 points in three straight games, getting beat up by Purdue, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Michigan State should win this game. Northwestern took them to overtime earlier this season, but Izzo should have his group ready to go tonight. 

Free Pick: Michigan State 70, Northwestern 62

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