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Michigan at Michigan State: Trey Burke vs. Keith Appling

Mary Langenfeld-USA Today Sports

On Tuesday night, the Michigan Wolverines will make the trip to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans. This Big Ten showdown features not only a pair of teams jostling for position atop the conference standings, but also a pair of squads that are currently ranked within the AP Top 10.

The key match-up on the floor on Tuesday night, of course, will come from the point guard position. What is better on a Tuesday night than a face-to-face match-up between Michigan’s Trey Burke and Michigan State’s Keith Appling?

The two respected guards each lead their teams in scoring offensively, although Burke has been at the headline of the conference at the point guard position. In fact, Burke is widely being considered as the top player at his position in the country as his National Player of the Year credentials come into play yet again on Tuesday.

Burke will need to have a big game as usual for the Wolverines, but even despite his expected production, there shouldn’t be much doubt that this is a game that Michigan State not only wants but needs in their race to win the regular season crown.

If the Spartans can pick up a victory on Tuesday night, they will extend their first place lead over the Wolverines to two games. The Indiana Hoosiers are the other team in the mix atop the league. They are currently tied with Michigan State at 9-2 within the conference, but the Hoosiers do not play until Wednesday night, so a Spartan win would separate them atop the standings for at least the evening.

It’s the match-up to watch and the match-up that surely will not disappoint. I’m going to take Burke in this personal battle, but it’s going to take an outright team effort for the Wolverines to win in East Lansing.


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS