Will Oscar Tshiebwe play? That’s the biggest question surrounding Michigan State vs Kentucky matchup. If he does, that means trouble for a Spartan team that has a thin interior depth.
The Spartans are coming off a hard fought matchup against Gonzaga on Friday and now play Kentucky in Indy in the Champions Classic. For MSU, look for A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker to really push the ball at the guard position. Tom Izzo teams always love to run, and I fully expect that to happen against Kentucky. Jaden Akins continues to get in better condition after coming off of a foot injury. I expect Akins to have his first big game as a Spartan this season.
What Michigan State should watch out for
Kentucky looks to continue their winning ways after beating up on Howard and Duquesne in their first two games. The Wildcats have a chunk of last year’s team returning, with a loaded freshman class coming in to help as well. Daimion Collins will most likely play as well on Tuesday night, but either way Kentucky is loaded. Senior guard, Sahvir Wheeler, came off the bench last game and played well for Kentucky too.
Expect that low post position to be a big thing to watch out, Mady Sissoko played well on Friday, but Drew Timme had a strong game going up against him. Whether it’s Tshiebwe or Jacob Toppin in that post, expect for Kentucky to exploit that interior weakness.
For Michigan State, I already discussed how A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker should get the better of Wheeler and Antonio Reeves. The two guards for Kentucky have struggled defensively in the past. I’m personally interested to see how MSU matches up to Kentucky without the wind on the aircraft carrier playing a factor for them.
You can watch Michigan State as they are the opening game of the “Men’s Champions Classic” down in Indianapolis, starting at 7pm on ESPN.
My prediction: Kentucky 73 MSU 65
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports