Michigan State and Nebraska began Big Ten play a combined 7-0 this season. But fast forward to Thursday and both enter their showdown in Lincoln in the middle of the Big Ten pack. They also find themselves coming off much-needed home wins last Sunday.
Michigan State (13-9, 5-4 Big Ten) snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Michigan 70-62, while Nebraska (10-11, 4-5) knocked off Purdue, 83-80, to end the Huskers’ five-game skid.
Miles Bridges earned his fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award on Monday after averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds in the Spartans’ games against Purdue and Michigan. Bridges is averaging 20 points a game his last five games. Sophomore forward Jack McVeigh equaled a career-high with 21 points off the bench in Nebraska’s win against Purdue.
Nebraska has won the last three times the teams have played, including a 72-71 win in East Lansing last January. This is the first of two meetings between the teams this season; Nebraska comes to the Breslin Center on Feb. 23
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch/listen to the Michigan State at Nebraska basketball matchup:
Michigan State basketball at Nebraska: game time, details
Time: 7 p.m. (ET) tip-off
Date: Thursday, Feb. 2
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
The line: The Michigan State-Nebraska game is listed as even.
Which TV channel station is Michigan State at Nebraska on?
The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
How can I watch Michigan State at Nebraska online?
How can I listen to Michigan State at Nebraska on the radio?
For Michigan State: The game can be heard on radio over the 38-affiliate Spartan Sports Network, including flagship stations WMMQ-FM (94.9)/WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing and WJR-AM (760) in Detroit. It is also on Sirius/XM Channel 84.
For Nebraska: The game will be broadcast on the IMG Husker Sports Radio Network, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln and KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha. It can be heard online here.
Who is calling the Michigan State vs. Michigan game?
Rece Davis will handle play-by-play for ESPN with analyst Fran Fraschilla. Will Tieman will call play-by-play with analyst Kevin Pauga on the Spartan Sports Network. Kent Pavelka will handle the play-by-play duties with analyst Matt Davison on the IMG Husker Sports Radio Network.
Three keys to the Michigan State at Nebraska game
Who wins the perimeter game?
More accurately, which set of guards gets the better of the other? Nebraska’s Tai Webster and Glynn Watson Jr. are averaging a combined 32.6 points per game. Michigan State’s top three guards — Eron Harris and the point guard combo of Tum Tum Nairn Jr. and Cassius Winston — are averaging almost 10 points fewer … but points alone won’t measure total worth in this matchup.
Nebraska is averaging 13 turnovers a game, or more than 17 percent of their offensive possessions, according to KenPom.com. Michigan State is having one of its worst seasons when it comes to holding onto the ball, averaging 14.2 turnovers per game. The Spartans are turning the ball over 20.6 percent of their possessions.
Michigan State freshman Nick Ward played with an illness against Michigan last Sunday but he still produced 13 points in 16 minutes. He was limited in practice this week, and how much he’s got for the Huskers remains to be seen. The Spartans need his presence on the inside both offensively and defensively.
Nebraska has been without sophomore forward Ed Morrow Jr. the last five games because of a right foot injury. Morrow is the Huskers’ leading rebounder (7.9 per game) and is averaging almost two blocked shots per game. He’s also third on the team in scoring with a 10.1-point average and leads the team shooting 55.4 percent from the field. The Huskers are 1-4 without Morrow.
Nebraska is retiring the jersey of Tyronn Lue on Thursday, adding his jersey to those of Stu Lantz, Dave Hoppen and Eric Piatkowski as the only ones retired in Nebraska history. It should provide added emotion for the game. Nebraska is feeling good after an 83-80 win against nationally ranked Purdue last Sunday.
Michigan State has lost its last three games away from the Breslin Center, struggling in the first half each time. The Spartans didn’t play with consistent energy, or match the energy of Penn State, Indiana and Ohio State, in those losses. They’ll need to do so against Nebraska.