– OSU got their shot. Tomorrow is it. If they can pull off the upset, they are probably in the field. That will provide tons of motivation.
– That said, it shouldn’t be enough. This is firmly and totally on MSU’s shoulders. If MSU plays the way they’re capable of, it will be like the first two meetings…not close (and MSU didn’t really play exceptionally well by its standards in either of those games). OSU has motivation but it also has youth, a lack of discernable leadership and they’re not a very good offensive team overall.
– In terms of dealing with OSU’s offense, I think you start with Lyle. To the extent that they’ve gotten better at that end, it’s largely on the back of Lyle becoming a little less mistake prone (he still makes a LOT of errors, though) and getting a lot done going to the basket. Keeping him away from clean looks at the rim has to be the first priority for MSU.
Secondly, you look at Loving. In the game in Columbus, OSU did a nice job getting him in matchup advantage situations and exploiting that in the post. They did very little of that in East Lansing.
– OSU’s a good defensive team but they’ve had no answer for MSU in the first two meetings…MSU’s exceptional movement has a tendency to make even good defensive teams look pedestrian or worse. I would expect similar things in this game.
I’d be surprised if we saw MSU come out with less than dialed in focus. I’m betting on another double digit Spartan victory.