Michigan State Basketball will play Alabama as part of the PK85 tournament in Portland on Thursday, and if you’re wondering how to watch the action live, you’ve come to the right place.
Michigan State enters this big matchup after a hugely successful two-game stretch last week. The Spartans first defeated Kentucky in double overtime and later in the week beat Villanova. The Spartans are 3-1 for the year, their only loss being a point against Gonzaga.
Alabama is a perfect 4-0 for the year, playing all of their games against underperforming midmajors. Each of those wins has been in double digits and this matchup against the Spartans will be the Crimson Tide’s first real test of the year.
Broadcast and streaming info
Here’s when to tune in to watch this game between Michigan State and Alabama:
Three things to see
Here are three things to watch out for in this Michigan State-Alabama duel:
Defense arc and rebound: Alabama has averaged more than 32 three-point attempts per game so far this season, scoring 33.6 percent of those attempts. They’ve also overtaken their opponents by 24.5 rebounds per game. So Michigan State has to defend against the three-point shot and also collect the rebounds if it misses to avoid second chance points.
Jaden Akins Status: Akins trimmed his injured foot in Friday’s win against Villanova but head coach Tom Izzo confirmed earlier this week that the re-injury is not serious. It’s unclear how many times we’ll see Akins at the PK85 this week, as the coaching staff won’t force him to play unless he’s 100 percent. Without Akins, the Spartans aren’t as dynamic or deep and will certainly impact this matchup if he fails to leave.
Dealing with pressure late in the game: Michigan State has already been in three nail biters earlier in the season, with the Spartans coming out on top in two of those three. Alabama has yet to really be tested in its four games. So if this game goes as expected, it will be the first time they’ve been in a tight situation late in the game. The Spartans should have the upper hand in this respect and could make the difference in this duel.
Forecast: MSU – 77, Alabama – 73
Michigan State has played three NCAA tournament-caliber teams earlier this year, but none quite compare to Alabama’s style of play. So this will certainly be a new test for the Spartans – but also a test for the Crimson Tide, who are yet to face a high-class opponent this year. If Michigan State can put pressure on the Crimson Tide’s outside shooting, then I like their chances of winning this PK85 opener. I think they do it and pick up the win.
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Story originally appeared on Spartans Wire