Men's Basketball Breakdown: Iowa vs. Michigan State

Michigan State guard Cassius Winston is the Big Ten's all-time leader in assists. (Mike Carter/USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Breaking down Tuesday's game between Iowa and Michigan State.

Game facts

Time and place — 6:01 p.m. (CST), Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.

TV — ESPN2 (Dave Flemming, play-by-play; Dan Dakich, analyst; Molly McGrath, sideline)

Radio — Hawkeye Radio Network

Records — Iowa 19-8 (10-6 Big Ten), Michigan State 18-9 (10-6)

Rankings — Iowa is No. 17 in the USA Today coaches poll and No. 18 in the Associated Press poll. Michigan State is No. 24 in both polls.

Series — Michigan State leads 75-55. The Spartans have won 13 of the last 15 games in the series. Iowa is 3-22 all-time in the Breslin Center.

The lineups

Iowa — Joe Wieskamp (F, 6-6, Soph., 14.9 ppg.), Ryan Kriener (F, 6-10, Sr., 7.5 ppg.), Luka Garza (C, 6-11, Jr., 23.7 ppg.), Joe Toussaint (G, 6-0, Fr., 6.5 ppg.), Connor McCaffery (G, 6-5, Soph., 5.9 ppg.)

Michigan State — Aaron Henry (F, 6-6, Soph., 9.6 ppg.), Malik Hall (F, 6-7, Fr., 4.3 ppg.), Xavier Tillman (F, 6-8, Jr., 13.6 ppg.), Cassius Winston (G, 6-1, Sr., 18.3 ppg.), Rocket Watts (G, 6-2, Fr., 7.5 ppg.)

The lines

Spread — Michigan State -8 1/2

Over/under — 151 1/2

The analytics

NET — Michigan State 13, Iowa 27

KenPom — Michigan State 7 (Adjusted offense 18, adjusted defense 14), Iowa 22 (Adjusted offense 5, adjusted defense 92)

Sagarin — Michigan State 13, Iowa 21

What to watch

The Breslin Center has never been a good place for the Hawkeyes, but then again, the same can be said for just about every other team in the Big Ten.

"They usually have a pretty good team," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said on Monday when asked why his teams have struggled on the Spartans' home court.

This, too, is a "pretty good" Michigan State team, although maybe a little more vulnerable than some of the past teams. The Spartans have lost their last two home games, which is something that doesn't happen often.

McCaffery went down the list of the top Spartans on Monday, and then got to Winston, a senior who will end his career as one of the top point guards in Big Ten history.

"He’s been incredibly consistent," McCaffery said of Winston, the Big Ten's all-time leader in assists. "He’s an incredibly calming influence on this team, or any team he’s been a part of. He knows when to go, he knows when to wait. You need a three, he makes a three."

The best matchup may be Garza vs. Tillman, who also averages 10.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

The status of Iowa guard CJ Fredrick is unclear. They could use him to soften the packed defense that's expected against Garza.

Four games remain in the Big Ten season, and five teams are tied for second place. The Hawkeyes get two of them this week in the Spartans and Penn State. 

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