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UConn vs. Michigan State, Battle 4 Atlantis: Preview, how to watch

The Huskies are back in action in Atlantis in a matchup against the Spartans.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Auburn Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The UConn Huskies were winners in a thriller on Wednesday in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Huskies won 115-109 in double overtime over the Auburn Tigers, the 22nd-ranked team in the nation. Now they face a team who, despite being ranked, still stands as a power in the sport. The Michigan State Spartans stand in the way of the Huskies and a berth in the Battle 4 Atlantis final. The Spartans defeated the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers in the opener of the Battle 4 Atlantis, just before UConn tipped off against Auburn.

How to watch UConn vs. Michigan State

Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: ESPN App

Off the bat, the usually stout UConn defense needs to buckle down in this one. At times in the second half against Auburn, the Huskies couldn’t buy a stop. They will face a team in Michigan State who’s been so-so offensively this year. They rank 241st in the early goings in 3-point percentage, and that’s with a 3-point rate of just 31.5 percent. So they don’t take threes too often, and judging by the percentages, that’s probably for good reason. They’ve gotten a boatload of their points inside and at the free throw line. They’re an above-average team at the line thus far, shooting 71.8 percent collectively. The trouble for UConn is that they’ve let teams get free throws pretty easily through their first five games.

Offensively, UConn has the edge right now though. They rank very well in many offensive categories. They may have their hands full against a very strong Spartan defense. The Spartans rank 3rd right now in AdjDE and rank in the Top 10 in 2 PT FG% allowed. The question will be if the Spartans can handle UConn on the perimeter. They gave up 47.1 percent on the perimeter against Eastern Michigan two games ago in an 83-59 win. While it obviously proved to be a non-factor in the win, it’s an area that UConn can exploit. Kansas shot 35.3 percent against MSU from beyond the arc, and they’ve only allowed < 30 percent once in their first five games. The Huskies, by the way, rank sixth at the moment in 3-point percentage.

This will be a fun clash between two programs looking to make a move to the final in the B4A Tournament. The winner is likely to face the reigning National Champion Baylor Bears, who draw VCU in their semifinal matchup.