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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM

There are so many top notch teams in the Big 10 this year that every night seems to bring a big game. Hopefully you watched Michigan’s upset of Michigan State this past Saturday Night. Tuesday, the Spartans try to bounce back on the road against a very tough Iowa side.

A couple of weeks ago, TV pundits were suggesting Iowa might be the best team in the conference. Those who were arguing were suggesting it was Michigan State. Both have lost since, and neither wants to take another hit Tuesday!

Let’s run the matchup through JIM HURLEY’S key indicator information…

 

Computer Rankings

Michigan State: #12 in Pomeroy, #2 in Sagarin

Iowa: #4 in Pomeroy, #3 in Sagarin

Look at that! College basketball guru Ken Pomeroy has dropped Michigan State all the way down to #12 off their loss to Michigan. USA Today computer whiz Jeff Sagarin still has them at #2 in the nation. Both guys have Iowa as Final Four caliber at the moment. That’s an amazing story in itself. Iowa wasn’t even in the top 25 in the AP preseason poll, sitting in the #30 spot in vote-getting if the poll had gone down that far. Could this really be a Final Four caliber game on the last Tuesday in January? Or, is the upper echelon so stacked this year that the computers are just as confused as everyone else about ranking all the teams that are clearly below Arizona?

 

Offensive Rank (Adjusted for Schedule)

Michigan State: #19

Iowa: #5

We’ve talked a lot about stellar offenses in our recent game previews. Since we only do marquee matchups, that’s telling you that offense has become a bigger deal than usual after officiating adjustments that went into effect this season. Iowa has surged to greatness on the heels of a very efficient per-possession offense. Michigan State is top 20 nationally. We’re finding that it’s not enough to have offense only this season…particularly on the road. How do these teams grade out defensively?

 

Defensive Rank (Adjusted for Schedule)

Michigan State: #20

Iowa: #19

Strong stuff again. It’s much harder to have a full collapse when you’re strong on both sides of the court. That’s why these teams should be on your shortlist for possible championship contenders in the league and nationally. Once basketball becomes chess in the tournaments, opponents find your weak spot. These teams are balanced.

 

Pace Ranking

Michigan State: #158

Iowa: #16

The only danger spot we see for Iowa is the possibility that they’ll run themselves out of gas. They’re excelling at a very fast pace this year. That’s great when you’ve got the legs for it. And, at home, it certainly positions them to run opponents out of the gym. We’ll see Tuesday if any signs of fatigue are about to show up. And, we may also see that the team becomes vulnerable to upset if forced to play a halfcourt game. Michigan State doesn’t want to run with Iowa…so they’ll definitely do their best to slow things down (which can be tough for a visitor to pull off).

 

Against the Spread

Michigan State: 10-7-2

Iowa: 12-6-0

No surprise that Iowa is a standout in this category. If you’re supposed to be #30 nationally…but you play like you’re top four for three months…then you’re doing a lot better than expectations. Pointspreads are daily reflections of expectations. Iowa has been getting the money 67% of the time so far. Michigan State is still above break even despite the straight up and ATS loss to Michigan.

Another great game…another night of blockbuster basketball from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK! Michigan State/Iowa is likely to show up in at least a TV Parlay on the Tuesday ticket. JIM HURLEY is also looking at Virginia/Notre Dame, St. John’s/Creighton, and Kentucky/LSU. You can purchase the final word during the day Tuesday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about basketball seasonal programs, or combination packages that would include the Super Bowl, call us in the office Tuesday during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.

Back Wednesday to crunch the numbers in Iowa State/Kansas in the Big 12. Those two teams are both top 20 in Pomeroy’s rankings at the moment…meaning the winner could be in the top 10 by next week! The road to MARCH MADNESS shows no signs of slowing down. Fasten your seat belts and ride along with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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