After knocking off Nebraska 91-76, No. 9 Michigan State (24-6, 15-4 B1G) has all eyes on Saturday’s showdown with in-state rival Michigan (26-4, 15-4).
Spartans head coach Tom Izzo recently shared the latest on a pair of MSU players heading into the marquee matchup. Izzo told reporters that F Nick Ward has a “million to one” chance of playing against the Wolverines, but F Kyle Ahrens has a 99 percent chance of suiting up Saturday. Ahrens sat out against Nebraska after re-injuring his back in the loss at Indiana. Ward has been dealing with a broken, surgically-repaired hand. His pain tolerance and ability to practice will dictate when he’s able to play again. When healthy, Ward is the team’s No. 2 scorer at 15.1 points per game.
UM and MSU enter the game tied atop the B1G standings – along with Purdue – at 15-4. The winner of Saturday’s rivalry clash in East Lansing will secure the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament. There will certainly be some scoreboard watching on Saturday as well as Purdue takes on Northwestern. A Wildcats win would give the Michigan-Michigan State winner the outright regular-season title.
Tom Izzo day Nick Ward is “a million to 1” to play vs. Michigan but Kyle Ahrens is “99%” likely to dress for Saturday’s showdown.
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) March 6, 2019