5 Things you Need to Know for Tuesday, January 28th
1. Michigan State's basketball team faces a huge test tonight, traveling to Iowa City to play the Hawkeyes (16-4, 5-2). MSU is still banged up: Keith Appling's wrist is really hurting, Adreian Payne is very unlikely to play, and Branden Dawson is still out for another month with a broken hand.
The Spartans will have their hands full. Iowa is the highest scoring and second-best rebounding team in the conference. Without Payne and Dawson, MSU will need a great effort on the glass to win this one.
2. The Red Wings are clinging to the final playoff spot, and tonight they face one of the teams right on their tail. When Detroit (57 points) and Philadelphia (56 points) face-off tonight, it will be without the Wings two best players as neither Henrik Zetterberg or Pavel Datsyuk made the trip. Jimmy Howard will be back in goal after missing three straight games. The Flyers have lost four straight contests.
3. The Pistons (17-27) host the Magic (12-33) tonight. Orlando has won just two if it's last 15 games. Detroit has lost four straight and is one game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the east.
4. Kevin Durant is playing at an incredible level right now. He scored 41 points and hit the game-winning shot last night against Atlanta. He has scored 30 or more points in 11 straight games, and he has scored at least 40 points six times this season.
5. There were three college hoops games featuring ranked teams last night: #17 Duke got an impressive road win over Pittsburgh, #5 Villanova beat Georgetown by nine, and #23 Oklahoma knocked off #8 Oklahoma State.