Spartans and Demons meet up

22 November 2017 21:22:45 GMTPlus11

The Michigan State Spartans and DePaul Blue Demons are two of the 16 teams spending Thanksgiving in Portland this year in the Phil Knight Invitational.

The Spartans are ranked fourth in the nation by the Associated Press, down two places from the opening week after losing to top ranked Duke in the Champions Classic.

Tom Izzo's side bounced back with an easy win over Stony Brook at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on Sunday. Nick Ward led the way for the hosts with 22 points with Miles Bridges adding a further 20 in the 93-71 win.

Despite shooting 57.9% from the floor the Spartans turned the ball over 14 times against the Seawolves and that is something that Michigan State will need to address before they get into Big Ten Conference play.

Their opponents on Thursday are the great mystery of college basketball. DePaul should be one of the top programs in the nation with Chicago a continual source of some of the greatest players on offer.

Certainly facilities are an issue with no arena on campus, a fundamental error not solved with their new facility the Wintrust Arena. Still the Blue Demons should be better, but continue to miss out on recruiting opportunities.

DePaul could not get the better of Illinois in their last outing on Friday as the Fighting Illini prevailed 82-73 to send the Blue Demons to a 1-2 record in the early going.

Connecticut and Oregon are potential opponents for Michigan State and DePaul in the second round of the Tournament with Portland, North Carolina, Arkansas and Oklahoma also in their bracket.

Duke Blue Devils are 6.00 to win the NCAAB title with the Spartans 6.50 and the Arizona Wildcats priced at 11.00.

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