Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Wolverines (-4.5, 132.5)
Michigan’s Big Ten title hopes probably ended after blowing a 15-point lead in the second half and losing at last-place Penn State on Wednesday. The fourth-ranked Wolverines should be an angry, focused group when they return home to face rival Michigan State on Sunday afternoon. Michigan can still be a major factor in the conference and NCAA tournaments, but must find answers after losing four of its last seven. The Wolverines are certainly comfortable at home where they are 16-0 overall and 7-0 in the Big Ten. However, they were hammered at Michigan State 75-52 on Feb. 12.
The 10th-ranked Spartans also need to restart, coming off consecutive losses to Indiana and Ohio State. Michigan State, which outrebounded Michigan 39-27 in the first meeting, is 5-3 on the road in conference play and stands one game behind Indiana in the Big Ten going into the weekend.TV:
4 p.m. ET, CBS.ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (22-6, 11-4 Big Ten):
One of the reasons the Spartans could not get over the hump in close games against the Buckeyes and Hoosiers was leading scorer Keith Appling’s sudden shooting slump. The junior guard was 2-of-14 from the field and 0-of-6 from 3-point range the last two contests, dropping his scoring average to 13.4 -- slightly ahead of freshman guard Gary Harris (13.2). Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix have done a solid job inside, both averaging more than 12 points the last five games. Payne, Nix and Branden Dawson (10.4 points) all shoot over 50 percent from the field.ABOUT MICHIGAN (23-5, 10-5):
The Wolverines might have needed the slap in the face from Penn State to get back to basics and finish strong. After facing the Spartans, Michigan plays at Purdue and hosts Indiana to end the regular season. Player of the year candidate Trey Burke hasn’t slowed down, shooting 49.6 percent from the field. Burke is second in the Big Ten in scoring (18.8) and first in assists (6.9). Tim Hardaway Jr., averaging 15.2 points, will have to be better than the 1-of-11 shooting performance at Michigan State. The Wolverines can also play better defense. They stand ninth in field-goal percentage defense in Big Ten games.TRENDS:
* Wolverines are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Under is 7-1 in Wolverines’ last eight vs. a team with a winning record.
1. The Spartans are third in the Big Ten in scoring defense and Michigan is second in offense.
2. Michigan F/C Jordan Morgan scored 11 points against Penn State, his first time in double figures since Jan. 3.
3. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 94-76, but Michigan State has won 20 of the last 26 meetings.