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Michigan State basketball: 3 bold predictions vs. Northwestern

Revenge game?

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Michigan State basketball
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State basketball travels to Evanston on Sunday night looking to continue its hot streak. Will the Spartans pick up a win?

The Penn State game wasn’t the best for my bold predictions. I correctly predicted Michigan State basketball to score 90 points but AJ Hoggard and Carson Cooper didn’t have the games I was hoping for.

Let’s see if we have any better luck this time as Michigan State (9-5, 1-2 Big Ten) takes on Northwestern (10-3, 1-1) in its first road game in about a month.

1. MSU holds Boo Buie to fewer than 12 points

Boo Buie is Northwestern’s star guard who is having his best season in his career. He is averaging 18.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game, all of which are career highs for him.

Buie is also a known Spartan killer. Over his six games against us in his career, he is averaging 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Those numbers are all significantly higher than his career averages. So these statistics will tell you that Boo is primed to have a career night against us on Sunday.

But I’m here to tell you he won’t. I’m fairly confident this prediction will be wrong, but that’s what bold predictions are all about.

Boo has had a lot of monster games this season including a 31-point masterpiece in their upset win over No. 1 Purdue. But he has also had some off nights as well. Five points against Detroit Mercy and only 11 against DePaul? That’s not his usual production.

Tyson Walker, AJ Hoggard, and Jaden Akins will all get a chance to guard him, and they’ll have to be ready for a battle. Buie is one of the best guards in the conference, so they’ll all have to be at their best defensively to prevent him from getting hot.

2. The Jaden Akins game, Part 2?

Last time I predicted a monster game from Akins we were on the money. In our three bold predictions for the Stony Brook game I predicted Akins to score at least 20 points. He came through for MSU in a big way by scoring a career high 22 points.

Since the Stony Brook game, Akins has had two solid games, scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively. I’m going to dial it back slightly for this prediction, but I’m guessing Akins will explode once again, this time for at least 17 points. Akins’ Stony Brook career high was his only game this season that met this mark, so this truly would be a wild run I’m on if I predict his massive games twice in a row.

3. One Spartan will foul out

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a player foul out. It’s also only happened twice this season. Mady Sissoko fouled out in the first game of the season and Carson Cooper also did against Duke.

There’s really no good reason why I’m predicting this other than a gut feeling. Eleven games without a player fouling out does seem like a long stretch, so the Spartans might be due for this to happen.

I do, however, think MSU will try to make this an extremely physical game. One of Northwestern’s weaknesses is its depth, so making this game physical and fast-paced can really hurt the Wildcats. Doing so would increase Michigan State’s chances of having a player foul out.

So if Tom Izzo agrees with my plan then we might be on to something here.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports.

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