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Michigan State basketball: 3 bold predictions vs. No. 10 Illinois

Quad 1 win on the menu?

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Michigan State basketball
© Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball gets another shot at a Quad 1 win on Saturday afternoon. Let’s dive into some bold predictions.

Michigan State basketball gets their chance at redemption on Saturday their loss to Illinois earlier this season. The No. 10 Illini come to East Lansing for the second matchup between these teams. Illinois is one of the best teams in the country, so MSU will have to be ready to go in this one.

Let’s see if we have any better luck this game with my bold predictions for the Spartans’ game Saturday afternoon.

1. Two Spartans score 20+ points

At first glance this might not seem like a crazy prediction, but it’s something that hardly ever happens in college basketball. Michigan state has also only done it once this season. Tyson Walker and Malik Hall both finished above 20 points against Penn State in January. They also came close to doing it again two games ago against Maryland, both finishing with 19.

Other than those two games, the Spartans haven’t been all that close to accomplishing this. Tyson finishing with 20 in any game is never shocking, so I think he’ll get there against the Illini. But the second player is where it gets tricky.

I think the most likely candidates are Hall or Jaden Akins. But I’m going to pick Akins to be the other 20+ point scorer because what fun is it to predict something that’s already happened.

So give me Walker with 24 points and Akins with 20 to fulfill this prediction on Saturday.

2. MSU wins by 15+

Now this would be wild if this happens. First of all, the Spartans don’t have many marquee victories this season, so a win against any top 10 opponent no matter the margin would be huge right now. Out of those few marquee wins, only one of them was by a massive margin. Also, this game in most people’s eyes is a coin flip, and Vegas agrees as well. The Spartans are favored by 2.5 points which essentially is just the advantage given to the home team. So on a neutral court, Vegas thinks these teams are even.

I however see this game going a lot differently. I think Michigan State is due for an elite performance. The Spartans always seem to get the big win whenever they need it most, including this season. MSU was struggling mightily before their 88-64 win over Baylor, and I think Michigan State will be firing on all cylinders once again and come away with a blowout win over Illinois.

3. MSU shoots 90% from the free throw line

The Spartans are coming off one of their worst nights from the free throw line this season. In the loss to Minnesota, they finished an abysmal 7-for-17 from the charity stripe. This season, the Spartans are 68.8% from the free throw line as a team as well.

However, I think the tides will change in this game. Michigan State basketball may not shoot a lot of free throws, but they will make most of them, finishing above 90 percent. And for as good of a team as Illinois is, they might actually need to do this if they want to win.

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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