Michigan State vs. Minnesota: Top 20 teams kick-off the Big Ten season

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

No. 19 Michigan State and No. 11 Minnesota begin Big Ten conference play as the two teams square-off at the Barn.

No. 19 Michigan State and No. 11 Minnesota kick-off Big Ten conference play on Monday as the two top 20 teams meet in Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Michigan State enters Monday's contest with an 11-2 non-conference record. After slipping out of the gate against UConn, the Spartans rebounded nicely with an impressive win against the Kansas Jayhawks. Their second loss came against Miami (FL) in the annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

Junior guard Keith Appling leads the young Spartans offense, averaging 14.9 points and 4.1 assists per game. Also contributing is freshman Gary Harris and sophomore Branden Dawson, who average 12.4 points and 9.8 points per game, respectively. On the inside, Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne anchor the Spartans offense, each grabbing more than seven rebounds per contest.

Minnesota is knocking on the door of a top ten national ranking after being reinvigorated by the return of senior Trevor Mbakwe, who missed almost all last season with a torn ACL. Mbakwe and the Gophers went 12-1 in con-conference play, with their only loss coming to top-ranked Duke. Senior forward Rodney Williams leads Minnesota in scoring with 13.0 points per game.

Date: December 31, 2012

Time: 2:00 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN2

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Detroit

You must be a member of SB Nation Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Detroit. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Detroit

You must be a member of SB Nation Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.