The Detroit Titans and Michigan State Spartans meet for an interstate battle at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University. Detroit Mercy will play its first game of the season on Friday night against the Spartans. They were supposed to open the season against Kentucky on the road last week, but a positive Covid test within the program squashed that plan.
That game has since been rescheduled to December 15. It’s a lot easier to reschedule a college basketball game than football, that much is for certain. There are going to be bumps along the way, especially with Covid raging at the moment, but we should make it to March and have a winner crowned in the NCAA Tournament.
Is that team going to be Michigan State? They certainly made a case for it with their effort against the Duke Blue Devils. Michigan State are coming off an impressive 75-69 win over Duke on December 1. Just a few days earlier, Michigan State were in good form in a 80-70 win over Notre Dame. Michigan State is a team that peaks in March under head coach Tom Izzo.
There have been a lot of seasons where Izzo’s teams start slow, and then erupt when it matters the most. We’re only three games in, so we’ll see how December goes before the Spartans get hyped up. However, they are off to a really nice start, and the win over Duke cemented their potential in 2020-21. Rocket Watts led Michigan State with 20 points in the 75-69 victory.
Michigan State are going to win a lot of games this season. That much is not going to be disputed. However, can they get over the hump to the next level and win a National Championship? Izzo’s teams seem to do a good job of making it deep into the tournament, but they seem to flame out when they’re pressed into action against the elite competition.
The Spartans won the National Championship in 2000. That was their last championship and second along with a win in 1979. There have been a lot of close calls since 2000, but nothing has developed into another national crown for the Spartans. Detroit will be looking for an upset, and if that’s going to happen, it will likely require Michigan State to have a letdown on Friday night. Head below for our free Detroit vs. Michigan State pick for December 4, 2020.
Detroit Titans vs. Michigan State Spartans NCAAM Betting Odds:
Detroit vs. Michigan State Prediction:
Michigan State are coming off a 22-9 season a year ago. Like in typical Michigan State fashion, they were heating up in the later stages of the season. The Spartans were on a five-game winning streak before the season was called because of the pandemic. Only Maryland had a better record in the conference. They were efficient scoring the ball with 75.9 points per game for 52nd out of 353 teams in the NCAA. Izzo’s squad were also dependable defensively, with 64.7 points conceded per game.
It was unfortunate that Cassius Winston didn’t get to finish out his college career in the NCAA Tournament. Winston, who is with the Washington Wizards currently, was the heart and soul of the Spartans. Losing Winston this season is a big piece to replace, but Watts has been off to a nice start.
He led Michigan State over Duke with 20 points, and was able to gain a lot of experience from that game. If Watts can continue to improve in 2020-21, then MSU is not going to be far off by the end of the season. Along with the win over Duke, the Spartans were 83-67 winners over Eastern Michigan and 80-70 over Notre Dame. The offense has been in great form.
Detroit was horrifically bad defensively a season ago. They were one of the worst teams in the country on defense. The Titans were hammered for 78.1 points per game, which was good for 334th out of 353 teams in the nation. They were better offensively, but still ranked in the back half, with 70.2 points per game for 209th.
If MSU wants to run up the score here, they should be able to do that. The one saving grace for Detroit is a potential letdown for the Spartans following their win over Duke. That said, I don’t believe Detroit made big enough strides in the offseason to repair that putrid defense. Look for Michigan State to do what they want offensively, as they get out of Friday night with a blowout win at the Breslin Center.