College basketball on Saturday afternoon and we will see the Michigan State Spartans take on the Georgetown Hoyas in a neutral site game at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game has a start time of 3:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Vegas odds have the Spartans listed as 7.5 point favorites, while the total has yet to be set.
Analysis: The Michigan State Spartans enter this non-conference affair with a 19-2 record overall and an 8-1 record in the Big 10. The Spartans are off an OT road win vs Iowa, after suffering their only conference loss to Michigan. The Spartans are not really known for their offense, but they do come in scoring 79.2 ppg, which is 31st in the nation, while shooting 47.5%, which is 42nd in the nation. Gary Harris leads this efficient offense with 18.3 ppg, while Adrean Payne (16.2 ppg), Keith Appling (15.4 ppg) and Branden Dawson (10.2 ppg) are the remaining DD scorers on the team. Both Dawson and Payne, though, will miss this game due to injury. Defense is what really fuels thi team as they have allowed just 64.9 ppg (50th) on 38.1% shooting (12th).
The Georgetown Hoyas come in with a rather lackluster 11-9 record overall, which includes a 5 game losing streak heading into this game. The Hoyas are a rather average offensive squad as they average just 71.2 pp, but they are good shooting team, hitting 46.4% off their shots, which ranks 76th in the nation. The Hoyas have 3 starters that average in double digits, led by D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who scored 17 ppg on the year. Markel Starks (16.4 ppg) and Joshua Smith (11.5 ppg) also score in double figures, but after that not much in the way of scoring as the 4th leading scorer (Mikael Hopkins) averages just 6.8 ppg. The Hoyas are a solid defensive squad that allows just 67.2 ppg on 39.6% shooting.
Pick: I like the Hoyas to be able to keep this one close. Michigan State is off an Indiana, Michigan, Iowa stretch and that means this should be a bit of a flat spot for them. The Hoyas have played very good defense this year and that should be enough to keep the Spartans from running away with this one.
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