Michigan State vs Nebraska

Time: 08:00 P.M. EST
  •  

Now that Tom Izzo has seen the true potential of his Michigan State squad, he's hoping it can maintain that level of play.

A repeat of last month's performance versus Nebraska certainly won't suffice.

The eighth-ranked Spartans look to keep pace atop the rugged Big Ten by earning a second straight season sweep of the host Cornhuskers on Saturday night.

Izzo repeatedly stated he wanted to see better play from his squad, and he got his wish in a 75-52 blowout of No. 4 Michigan on Tuesday. It was a rout from start to finish, as Michigan State (21-4, 10-2) forced the Wolverines into 16 turnovers despite them coming in averaging a nation-low 9.3 per game.

"Keep it in perspective that we probably played our best game in three years," Izzo said. "We played about as well as we can play.

"I'm not sure we're as good as we played, but I'll take it."

Freshman Gary Harris had 18 points and made 5 of his 9 3-point attempts - he's hitting 54.3 percent from long range over his last five games - while Derrick Nix added 14.

The Spartans are tied for the Big Ten lead with No. 1 Indiana, which hosts Purdue earlier Saturday.

"We can be as great as we want to be," Nix told the team's official website. "Our success is upon ourselves."

Reserve guard Travis Trice is expected to miss a fourth straight game with a head injury, but Michigan State is getting a balanced effort from all over the floor. Nix and Adreian Payne are playing well inside, Branden Dawson and reserve freshman Denzel Valentine are excelling as slashers while Harris and point guard Keith Appling are keeping teams on their heels on the perimeter.

"The thing I said why this team could be good a couple weeks ago is that we've got an inside and we've got an outside," Izzo said. "If we can get (Trice) back, we'll have another shooter and that would really help this team."

Valentine knows the Spartans can't suffer a letdown Saturday after throttling Michigan - particularly with the Hoosiers visiting East Lansing on Tuesday.

"The expectations just got higher, so we have to bring more and more every game," Valentine said. "We can't take any team lightly."

Whether or not Michigan State did that against Nebraska in the first meeting, the Cornhuskers came ready to play. The score was tied with less than seven minutes remaining before the Spartans closed on a 16-6 run for a 66-56 victory Jan. 13.

"They played harder than us, they coached better than us," Izzo said after that contest, in which Appling and Harris shot a combined 2 for 17. "They probably deserved to win the game in every way."

Nebraska (12-13, 3-9), which has dropped three of four, played competitively for the first 15 minutes Wednesday at Indiana before falling 76-47. Dylan Talley scored 16 points, but the Huskers shot only 36.2 percent and were held under 50 points for the sixth time.

Forward Brandon Ubel, who sat out the first meeting with Michigan State while recovering from a fractured elbow, missed both of his field-goal attempts and finished with a season-low four points.

"We were in foul trouble most of the night. You get to a certain point and it feels like you're on the Titanic - it's just one guy after another," coach Tim Miles said. "When Brandon Ubel was in the game, I thought we were at our best, we just couldn't get him on the floor enough."

Nebraska is shooting 35.5 percent over its last three and shot 39.7 percent in the first meeting with Michigan State, which has won its last three games by an average of 15.7 points.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
College Basketball Current Odds
GameCurrent Line
Michigan State
@ Nebraska
-10
 
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wisconsin16-236-44
Maryland14-428-713
Michigan St.12-627-1223
Iowa12-622-1243
Purdue12-621-1355
Ohio St.11-724-1141
Indiana9-920-1461
Illinois9-919-1473
Michigan8-1016-1680
Minnesota6-1218-1598
Northwestern6-1215-17124
Nebraska5-1313-18158
Penn St.4-1418-16108
Rutgers2-1610-22179

Related Video

 

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's Nike White Florida State Seminoles 2015 Coaches Preseason Sideline Polo

Nike 2015 College Coaches Polos
Get your school today
Shop Now

 
 
 
Other Games
ND 54 Final
PROV 71
PITT 69 Final
MU 79
UK 58 Final
TENN 88
FLA 83 Final
AUB 52
OKLA 79 Final
OKST 84
PUR 55 Final
IND 83
CSU 89 Final
AF 86
BUTL 68 Final
FORD 63
GONZ 71 Final
SF 61
DUKE 81 Final
MD 83
BAYL 61 Final
KSU 81
ORE 79 Final
WSU 77
MEMP 71 Final
MRSH 59
SYR 76 Final
SHU 65
BOISE 50 Final
NMEX 60
TEX 47 Final
KAN 73