Coming into this game, both Michigan State and Iowa both needed wins in order to help stay in the race for not only a Big Ten title but a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament. When the chips were on the line, it was the experienced Spartans finding a way to eke out a win against a decent Iowa team. The Spartans found themselves down by 6 at the half thanks to a comedy of errors which included Cassius Winston only having 1 point in the first half and Xavier Tillman getting in foul trouble. In the second half, Winston began to come alive, as he hit 4 second-half threes, Tillman slowed down NPOY candidate Luka Garza. While those two were key, Rocket Watts wound up leading the Spartans in scoring as he had 21 points. Winston had 20 points and 9 assists and Aaron Henry had 17 points. For Iowa, the frontcourt duo of Ryan Kriener and Luka Garza combined for 38 points for the Hawkeyes.
With the Hawkeyes leading at the half, the Spartans really needed their Senior captain to step up in the second half. “Cassius had a miserable first half,” Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo said. “He did what true champions are supposed to do and just did an unbelievable job in the second half.”
Coming up on Saturday, the Spartans have a chance to go on the road and get revenge on Maryland for a result from two weeks ago where the Terrapins pulled a rabbit out of a hat to get a win. Iowa will return home to face a Penn State team that has lost two straight games.
Bracketology Effect: Michigan State remains a four seed in the East Region following this win against Iowa. The Hawkeyes move down in the seed list but remain on the six-line.
Betting Effect: Covered: Iowa +8.5, Under 151.5