Even Michigan State's writers think Iowa will win Thursday night

Michigan State's Branden Dawson and Iowa's Aaron White

Lansing (Mich.) State Journal sports writer Graham Couch expects Iowa to pull out the victory Thursday in Iowa City.

Here's an excerpt from Couch's game preview:

Backcourts: Gesell is a solid veteran point guard but limited athletically.Trice should be able to get into the lane against him. Jok is a willing and streaky shooter. If his matchup is Forbes, Forbes will have to be attentive. Edge: Even

Frontcourts: Valentine should be able to create against Uthoff. The Dawson-White matchup is the one to watch. Dawson's strength has caused White problems in previous meetings. Edge: MSU

Benches: Iowa center Gabriel Olaseni scored a career-high 18 points against Nebraska Monday, his fifth double-figure scoring performance of the season. Olaseni splits time with Woodbury much the way Schilling and Matt Costello platoon for MSU. Clemmons and Josh Oglesby are proven veterans coming off the bench. Edge: Iowa

Prediction: Iowa is surging with confidence, lying in wait for MSU, which has made life miserable for the Hawkeyes over the last three years. It's the first Big Ten road game for four members of MSU's rotation. Playing at Notre Dame should help. The Spartans are capable of winning, but this has the makings of a tough night.

Make it: Iowa 69, MSU 63