Michigan State and Minnesota meet for the second time in two weeks Wednesday night when the Spartans host the new No. 24 team in the country.
The Golden Gophers (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) entered the AP Top 25 poll this week for the first time since 2013 and immediately face the team that has handed them their lone conference loss. Michigan State rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to beat Minnesota 75-74 in overtime on Dec. 27 in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Senior guard Alvin Ellis III had a career-high 20 points for the Spartans (11-6, 3-1), while freshman forward Nick Ward scored a game-high 22 points in the first matchup. Minnesota has since won road games at Purdue and Northwestern, and at home against Ohio State. Michigan State is coming off its first conference loss, 72-63 against Penn State on Saturday.
Michigan State and Minnesota are tied at the top of the Big Ten standings with Maryland, Purdue and Nebraska.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch/listen to the Michigan State vs. Minnesota matchup:
Michigan State vs. Minnesota: game time, details
Time: 7 p.m. (ET) tip-off
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11
Location: Breslin Center, East Lansing.
The line: Michigan State is favored by 4.5 points.
Which TV channel is Michigan State vs. Minnesota on?
The game will be broadcast on BTN.
How can I watch Michigan State vs. Minnesota online?
How can I listen to Michigan State vs. Minnesota on the radio?
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 Channel 93 and XM Channel 957.
Who is calling the Michigan State vs. Minnesota game?
Cory Provus will handle play-by-play for BTN with analyst Jon Crispin. Will Tieman will call play-by-play with analysts Matt Steigenga and Gus Ganakas on the Spartan Sports Network.
Who wins the battle of freshmen sensations?
There have been nine weeks to the season so far. Minnesota’s Amir Coffey and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Nick Ward have been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week a combined seven times. Coffey earned his second honor on Monday after averaging 18 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds in wins against Northwestern and Ohio State. He’s part of an athletic and lengthy frontcourt for Minnesota.
Bridges didn’t play in the first game and will be making just his third appearance since returning from an ankle sprain that forced him to miss seven games. He looked rusty against Penn State and is still working his way back into shape. Ward is working his way toward Freshman of the Year honors. He’s averaging 13.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and had 40 blocked shots, which is already No. 2 all-time for a Michigan State freshman.
Does a veteran stand up for Michigan State?
Ellis was the key X-factor in the first game. When Eron Harris is hitting shots from the outside, Michigan State is tough to beat. The problem the Spartans run into is when they aren’t getting those efforts from the upperclassmen. It’s good to have talented freshmen, but the Spartans need to have their upperclassmen be aggressive on both ends of the court.
Who is the tougher team?
Michigan State was for the final 10 minutes of the second half and then overtime in the first game but Minnesota has shown its own toughness in the last three games. That was especially true in winning in overtime at Purdue.
Three of the last four games between Michigan State and Minnesota have gone to overtime. Expect this one to be close as well.