Michigan State vs. Louisville Prediction, Game Preview

    Michigan State vs. Louisville prediction and game preview for when the Spartans host the Cardinals in East Lansing, Mich.

    December 1, 2015

    The No. 3 Michigan State Spartans will be back home in East Lansing, Mich. to take on the No. 24 Louisville Cardinals in the Breslin Center. Below is the Michigan State vs. Louisville prediction and game preview.

    Michigan State vs. Louisville Game Preview

    Game Broadcast

    Date: Wednesday, Dec. 2
    Game Time: 6:15 p.m. ET
    Venue: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.
    Network: ESPN

    Why You Need To Care

    Tom Izzo correctly predicted Michigan State beating Ohio State in football this season, so he obviously knows all.

    In all seriousness, who doesn’t want to watch this matchup from the Big Ten/ACC Challenge? Michigan State has been a team possessed. Aside from the six-point win against Kansas a little earlier in the season, Izzo’s team has beaten every opponent by double digits.

    The Spartans are coming off a 77-64 win against Providence to cap off a championship in the Wooden Legacy.

    Louisville is undefeated, too, but it’s played two less games than Michigan State has. So, we still need to see what exactly Rick Pitino’s team is made of. The Cardinals beat St. Louis by 20 points in their last outing.

    This is going to be a grind for both teams.

    Why Michigan State Will Win

    The Spartans score at a very high rate, averaging 89 points per game. On top of that, they’re also holding teams to just 62.6 points per game. Michigan State has also been wrecking the opposition on the glass. The Spartans have collected the sixth-most rebounds (307) in the nation. They’ll need to clean up on the boards and use the defense to create some offense in order to beat Louisville.

    Why Louisville Will Win

    The Cardinals will definitely have their hands full in this one. Michigan State is led by one of the best players in the nation in Denzel Valentine, so Pitino has definitely harped on trying to slow him down. Aside from that, Louisville needs to concentrate on making smart decisions with the basketball. Pitino’s squad has only committed 49 turnovers on the season, but it also hasn’t faced a defense like the Spartans yet. Smart passes will be key in this one. 

    Players Who Matter

    Valentine has emerged as one of college basketball’s premier players. He’s a legitimate triple-double threat just about every night with an average of 19.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. If he can get some spacing from Bryn Forbes’ ability to shoot the three (50 percent), then the two of them can lead the attack offensively.

    Pitino is going to turn to his two senior guards: Damion Lee and Trey Lewis. They’re combining for 29.8 points, 9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Oh, and guess what, they’re both shooting 36.4 percent from three on the season. The duo will have to come up big on all areas to help Louisville knock off Michigan State.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Until someone stops him, there’s no reason to bet against Valentine. He’s led the Spartans pretty fiercely so far, and all bets should be placed on him doing it again. Michigan State shares the basketball effortlessly at times, and the Louisville defense just won’t keep up. The Spartans will contain the Cardinals offense and come out with an unblemished record.

    Michigan State vs. Louisville Prediction

    Robert Judin:
    Michigan State 89, Louisville 76

    Line: Michigan State -7

    MORE: Power 12 College Basketball Rankings, Week 4


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