NCAA Tournament 2014: 5 Predictions For No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 7 Connecticut Matchup

5 Predictions For No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 7 Connecticut Matchup

Connecticut basketball
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State is clearly looking like a national title threat and Shabazz Napier is doing his thing for the Connecticut Huskies. These two teams will meet up in the Elite Eight with a chance to play in the Final Four on the line. Let’s take a look at five predictions for this contest before all of the excitement begins.

Keith Appling Will Finally Score in Double Figures

Michigan State basketball
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Keith Appling Will Finally Score in Double Figures

Michigan State basketball
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Keith Appling has only scored eight points in the 2014 NCAA tournament. He averaged 11.4 on the season. Expect him to take more shots against Connecticut and expect him to score in double figures. This would be the perfect time for Appling to show that his confidence in the scoring department is back.

Branden Dawson Will Come Up Big Again

Michigan State basketball
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Branden Dawson Will Come Up Big Again

Michigan State basketball
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Branden Dawson is averaging 20 points and nine rebounds per game in the tournament. He has scored 24 or more in his last two. Don’t expect him to cool off against Connecticut.

Shabazz Napier Will Be Shabazz Napier

Connecticut basketball
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Shabazz Napier Will Be Shabazz Napier

Connecticut basketball
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Shabazz Napier has been one of the best players all season long. That is not going to change against Michigan State. You can expect him to score around 20 points once again and you can expect him to keep the Huskies in this game.

Napier Will Have Chance To Win Game At the End

Connecticut basketball
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Napier Will Have Chance To Win Game At the End

Connecticut basketball
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Napier will have a good game, he just won’t be clutch like he has been all season long. Well, at least when it absolutely matters most. This one is a little bold in so many different ways, but Napier will have a chance to win the game at the end. He won’t make the game-winning basket, though.

Michigan State Wins

Michigan State basketball
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State Wins

Michigan State basketball
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Branden Dawson cannot be stopped and Adriean Payne is basically impossible to guard. We haven’t even talked about Gary Harris once in this article. The Spartans are one of the most complete teams in the tournament. At the end of the day, they have too many weapons for Connecticut to handle.

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.

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