• WHEN/WHERE: 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta
• TV/RADIO: ESPN, KCSP (610 AM)
• ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (0-1): The Spartans are trying to move on without All-America forward Draymond Green, who helped them secure a Big Ten title before becoming a NBA second-round pick. Some of that burden falls on senior Derrick Nix, a 270-pound load who could cause problems for KU. Nix, though, had just six points in the Spartans’ 66-62 loss to Georgetown on Friday. … Reserve guard Travis Trice is doubtful to play tonight because of concussion symptoms, according to the Detroit Free Press.
• ABOUT KANSAS (1-0): KU senior Kevin Young will likely sport a fingerless, padded glove as he returns to the court after missing time with a broken bone in his shooting hand. “Just feeling comfortable with this glove on,” Young said. “That’s the biggest thing.” Young’s energy could give a lift to KU senior Jeff Withey, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds in the Jayhawks opener. … KU trails 5-4 in the all-time series against Michigan State, which last defeated Kansas in the Sweet 16 in 2009.
BOTTOM LINE: If you looked purely at the rankings, KU would seem to be a decent favorite. But given KU’s unproven freshmen, Michigan State certainly has the squad to play with Kansas on a neutral floor. Still, Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson have played in big games before, and the Jayhawks have the defense to grind out a muddy, early-season victory that will look much better in March.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org