Michigan State @ Purdue: Breakdown and Winner

ctsports picksAnalyst IFebruary 17, 2009

The Big Ten title could all but be salted away if Michigan State pulls off another road win. Purdue is trying to spoil the parade and show why they were the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten. Both teams are coming into this game with a key player questionable for the big game. Michigan State are the odds makers road underdog with a spread of +3.

This year's Michigan State is a very high-powered offensive team which is a little different for Coach Tom Izzo. But Izzo's team still hangs its hat on defense and rebounding dominance. Currently, the No. 6 ranked Spartans are riding an undefeated road streak with a record of 7-0 and 20-4 overall.

PF leader Raymar Morgan is questionable for the game after missing the last three games due to illness. Morgan leads them in scoring but they are 3-0 without him and are still scoring very well. The key to the Spartans game plan is going to be to get the game up tempo because they are much more athletic and have deeper bench.

The Boilermakers are 19-6 overall and 13-2 at home. They currently are two games back from the Spartans but with two games left against MSU, Purdue still holds out hope for a Big Ten Championship. Purdue has been winning with its defense, as it's held each of its last two opponents to less than 50 points.

Purdue's Robbie Hummel returned to the lineup last game after missing the previous three games with a hairline fracture in his lower back. If the Boilermakers are going to beat the Spartans, they need all their athletes, including Hummel. The one key to this game for Purdue is shutting down the fastbreak points of Michigan State. Purdue needs this game to be in the 50's to 60's to win this match up.

The Big Ten crown could be given out if Michigan State takes care of business but with a loss, Purdue could put themselves right back into the race. This is going to be a physical game and should be a well-coached and played game. Don't miss this one. It will be a classic Big Ten match up!

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