Mar 5, 2013; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes Josh Oglesby (2) shoots against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Iowa beat Illinois 63-55. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State @ Iowa: Keys To The Game

Tuesday night the Michigan State Spartans will come to Iowa City.  This basketball game might be the most anticipated Iowa Hawkeye men’s basketball game in a really long time, although it feels like we’re saying that about just every game on the schedule.  Now, the rankings are likely to change, but as of right now the Spartans are ranked 3rd in the country and the Hawkeyes are ranked 10th.

Iowa will likely move down after losing to Michigan and Michigan State will likely move down as well after they lost to Michigan. Lets look at some keys to the game for Tuesday’s big one.

For Michigan State: 

Battle!

Michigan State is still a really good team, but they’re missing two of their more important players.  They may have the best backcourt in the country with Gary Harris and Keith Appling, but no Adreian Payne or Branden Dawson really hurts Sparty.  With Iowa being completely healthy and at home, MSU will have to battle hard as it’ll be a grind throughout the game.

Role players!

Kenny Kaminski and Travis Trice are going to be two big pieces for the Spartans in this one.  Harris and Appling won’t be able to do it all, so it’ll be up to guys like Kaminski and Trice to be a supporting cast.  Alvin Ellis and Matt Costello are two others that the Spartans will need contributions from.

For Iowa:

Play smart!

Some stupid decisions late hurt the Hawkeyes against Michigan and this will be the same type of game.  Iowa can’t turn the ball over like they have recently otherwise the Spartans will take advantage of it.  The Spartans might be the best coached team in America, so Iowa will have to limit mistakes and play their game.

Gabe Olaseni!

Olaseni has been great over the course of the entire year with a few minor slip ups.  He’s a beast on the glass and has the ability to really impact this game big time.  MSU is a little depleted up front, so Iowa should have a huge night on the glass.  Olaseni will be the one leading the charge.  Expect Olaseni to see considerable floor time as I don’t expect Adam Woodbury to play too much because Michigan State will play small.

Just like a lot of Big Ten games, this one is going to be really good.  Michigan State is coming off a loss to a Michigan team that is undefeated in the conference and Iowa is coming off a rout of Northwestern.  Currently these teams rank 2nd and 3rd in the conference so this one could be big in deciding a possible Big Ten champion.

This game is set for 6:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday evening at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

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