SITM: Bold predictions for Round 2 of Michigan vs. Michigan State in 2015

Michigan and Michigan State collide at 9 p.m. Tuesday night in Ann Arbor. Rather than go on and on about keys to the game and what it means—which I did here, for Bleacher Report—I’m going to get to the predictions, which will either be very close or incredibly off the mark.

But who’s keeping score? Feel free to call me out for being wrong, or congratulate me for being right (for once) on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

Now it’s time to play Nostradamus.

Denzel Valentine

He’s coming off a game-winner versus Ohio State and he scored 25 points during Michigan State’s 76-66 OT win over Michigan on Feb. 1. That said, Valentine has reached a boil and is ready for more. Expect yet another spirited performance from Tom Izzo’s do-all junior.

Bold prediction: St. Valentine gets 20 points, eight boards and eight assists Tuesday night.

Spike Albrecht

Spike Albrecht has been Michigan’s heart and soul for most of the year. You’d be hard-pressed to see another guy give more than John Beilein’s junior point guard. With that said, Albrecht is in the same boat Valentine was prior to Feb. 1: He needed a big game to boost confidence.

Albrecht’s scored 10 or more in four of his past five games. He averages 6.2 per game. He scored 18 during Michigan’s OT loss to the Spartans, with a flurry coming late in the second half.

Simply said, he's been heating up during the past couple of weeks. 

Bold prediction: He’ll lead the Wolverines with another 18 points on Tuesday and have arguably the best game of his career. He knows what’s on the line, and if for nothing else, he’ll play with pride tomorrow night.

Zak Irvin

Irvin, a 6’6”, 215-pound scoring and dunking machine (when he wants to be), is also in need of a good game (that’s obvious).

 Michigan State’s defense just held Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell, the unquestioned Big Ten freshman of the year, to a meager 10 points—nine less than his average—on 4 of 13 shooting. There’s a good chance Irvin will also be limited. The Spartans are in attack mode on both ends of the floor.

Bold prediction: Irvin fails to reach double digits and shoots less than 35 percent from the floor.

Branden Dawson

I predicted that Dawson would post a 20-and-10 performance on Feb. 1. If my memory serves me correctly, he finished with 19-and-10. He’ll get his 20-and-10 on Tuesday night, no question about that. He scored 15 points and pulled in 11 boards versus Ohio State.

Bold prediction: Dawson tops his career-high of 26 points and snags 15 boards.

Score

Michigan State needs a win to pad its tournament resume. Due to a win over No. 23-ranked Ohio State, chances of getting in look a little better today than they did this past week. Izzo, however, has to notch at least one or two more quality victories in order to be confident heading into Selection Sunday.

Despite Michigan’s bad luck this season, winning in Ann Arbor would certainly be a shining moment for the Spartans, who are on the brink of reaching their 18th consecutive NCAA tourney under Izzo.

Bold prediction: In the beginning of the year, I thought it’d be a home-and-home split. Despite the absence of Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton, Michigan competed in East Lansing—but that won’t be the case Tuesday night.

A late surge powers Michigan State to a 72-58 victory. But expect a close first half, per usual. It'll be all about who controls emotion and tempo in the second. 

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