#1 Michigan State and #2 Kentucky jockey for early dominance in College Basketball

Zach Singer, Sports Writer

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  After a long awaited eight months, college basketball is just days away from making its glorious return. The new season will be a battle between two of the most historic and successful programs in college basketball history: Michigan State and the University of Kentucky. Stakes are higher than ever as the two squads are ranked at the top coming into the new season. 

Leading the charge for the programs will be two of the most successful coaches in the sport today: Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and John Calipari (Kentucky) . 

 

With Tyler Herro, P.J. Washington and Keldon Johnson leaving Kentucky for the NBA, a young group of inexperienced freshmen will have to immediately step into vital roles. In years past, Kentucky has been known as a team that starts off the year slow, but as the season progresses they improve. 

 

This very well could be a death sentence for the Wildcats, with Michigan State not only facing their first game of the year but their toughest game. However, Calipari has shown in years past that he’s able to overcome youth and inexperience and translate it to success. 

 

Though the green will miss starters Kenny Goins and Nick Ward, the Spartans return a group of experienced, well-coached players. However, it’s no secret that the Spartans are facing troubles of their own. 

 

Rising star Joshua Langford will miss the entire season with an indefinite foot injury. Before the senior guard went down with an ankle injury last December, he was second on the team in scoring behind only Cassius Winston. Though damaging, Michigan State proved last year that they were able to overcome the loss of Langford, resulting in the school’s first final four appearance in five years. 

 

The matchup to watch will be between Cassius Winston and Ashton Hagans. Winston is coming off a 19 points per game and seven assist year which earned him the Big Ten Player of the Year award. For the Wildcats, guard  Ashton Hagans will look to breakout this year now that he is the focal point of the team. 

 

Now the stage is set. In just a few days, the Wildcats and the Spartans will battle one another in a fight for the #1 spot. Enjoy the game!

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