|Illinois||B Paul 17.9||N Egwu 4.9||T Abrams 3.2|
|Michigan State||K Appling 13.5||A Payne 6.9||K Appling 4.1|
No. 13 Michigan State hosts Illinois at Breslin Center on Thursday. Tip-off is at 7:00 EST and it can be seen on ESPN/2. The Spartans are 4-3 against the Fighting Illini over the last four years. They fell 42-41 on 1/31/2012, the last time they met.
Illinois is in 9th place in the Big Ten and Michigan State is in 3rd place.
In their last match-up on January 27th, Gary Harris put up 21 points for the Spartans in a loss to Indiana, 75-70. While contributing 2.6 rebounds per game, he also scores 12.7 points per game. For the Fighting Illini, D.J. Richardson put up 12 points and 7 rebounds in the 74-60 loss to Michigan on January 27th. He is averaging 11.8 points per game and leads the team in steals with 1.6 per game.
- AP voters think more highly of Michigan State and have put us in the AP Top 25 more often over the past 10 years than Illinois (145 vs 116).
- We make basketball players. Over the past 5 years, Michigan State has had more players drafted by the NBA than Illinois (2 vs 1).
- The Michigan State steals leader (Branden Dawson) has more steals than the Illinois steals leader (D.J. Richardson).
- We make our fans proud. Michigan State has a better record at home than Illinois this season (12-0 vs 8-3).
- Diaper Dandies love us. Michigan State has recruited more McDonald's All-Americans out of high school than Illinois (15 vs 13).
- Kids want to come here. Since 1998 Michigan State has recruited more Top 50 high school players than Illinois (19 vs 11).
- We win when it counts, too. Michigan State has more NCAA Tournament wins over the last 10 years than Illinois (21 vs 10).
- Adreian Payne is ranked 4th in the Big Ten in rebounds and 8th in the Big Ten in blocks.
- Keith Appling is ranked 5th in the Big Ten in assists and 6th in the Big Ten in steals.
- Michigan State has a better scoring defense (58.6 allowed per game vs 66.0 allowed per game) than Illinois this season.
- Michigan State allows fewer rebounds (31.0 allowed per game vs 34.9 allowed per game) than Illinois this season.