Minnesota and Michigan State are heading in different directions, with the Spartans having lost two straight while Minnesota is coming off a dramatic Christmas Day comeback victory over fourth-ranked Iowa.
Minnesota ranks in the top 10 among Division I teams in possessions per game with point guard Marcus Carr leading the way with 24.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. His 8.6 free-throw attempts per game are seventh among qualifying players as Minnesota leads the country in free-throw attempts per game.
When the teams meet on Monday night in Minneapolis, Michigan State will look to keep Minnesota off the free-throw line by holding the Gophers to only one shot per possession as the Spartans are 19th among Division I teams in defensive rebound rate while Minnesota is 214th in total rebound rate.
While Minnesota is making just 31.9 percent of its 3-point shots, the Spartans’ defense ranks 273th in opponents’ 3-point shooting percentage and fails to turn teams over, ranking 286th in steals on a per-possession basis.
With Michigan State ranking No. 1 in assists per game and per possession, there should be no shortage of firepower.
The Play: Michigan State vs. Minnesota, Over 160.
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