Michigan State Game Preview: Streaking No. 16 Spartans Visit Nebraska

Seth NewmanCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2011

Sophomore guard Keith Appling scores 2 of his career high 25 points against No. 13 Indiana
Sophomore guard Keith Appling scores 2 of his career high 25 points against No. 13 Indiana

No. 16 Michigan State (12-2) will visit Nebraska (8-4) on Dec. 31st.

The Spartans are winners of 12 straight games—the program’s longest win streak since the 2001 team. Combine the 2000 and 2001 seasons and the Spartans won 23 straight games during that era. If MSU wants to make it 13 in a row, then they will have to slow down senior guard Bo Spencer for the Cornhuskers.

Spencer is averaging over 15 points and four assists per game. The senior is coming off a poor performance against Wisconsin, in which he scored 10 points below his average.

Spencer will likely face just as tough if not more, of a challenge with sophomore guard Keith Appling guarding him. Appling has been widely regarded as the top defender in the Big Ten, along with Ohio State’s Aaron Craft.

Nebraska will be playing MSU for the first time since it joined the Big Ten conference in 2010. Nebraska had a tough welcoming week with already losing to No. 11 Wisconsin 64-40. The Cornhuskers will have to find an answer for all of Michigan State’s weapons.

The Spartans proved last game against No. 13 Indiana that even when their scoring leader Draymond Green has an off day, the team still has the ability to put up 80 points. Four players for the Spartans finished against Indiana with over 11 points, capping an 80-65 victory.

The Spartans will hope to have the continuation of growth in the games of centers Derrick Nix, and Adreian Payne. Nix was an offensive presence scoring a career-high 14 points against Indiana, while Payne had a great defensive effort against Indiana star Cody Zeller.

The Spartans should leave Lincoln with a 13th straight victory.

Tipoff is at 3:30.