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  • May 29, 2018 1:49 AM EDT

    South Bend, IN (SportsNetwork. .com) - The 19th-ranked Michigan State Spartans have come calling on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Michigan State is 5-2 on the young season, and the team is hoping for a return to the win column after dropping a 61-56 decision to Kansas on Sunday to close out the Orlando Classic. The Spartans had won their previous four outings, with their only other setback coming in an 81-71 final versus Duke on Nov. 18. Notre Dame has won six of its first seven games, including the last two against inferior foes Grambling State (81-54) and Chicago State (90-42). The Fighting Irish are 5-0 at home this season, but they havent really been tested, save for a 75-74 loss to Providence on a neutral court four days before Thanksgiving. Notre Dame owns a 59-35 lead in the all-time series with Michigan State, but this is the first meeting between the two since an 80-68 triumph for the Spartans in the 1979 NCAA Championship Mideast Regional title game. MSU has won eight of the last 11 matchups overall. Despite losing to a pair of teams currently residing in the Top-25, Michigan State has performed well at both ends of the court this season. The team is producing 73.3 ppg in hitting 48.6 percent of its total shots, which includes a 42.1 percent showing from 3-point range. Defensively, the club in allowing a mere 59.7 ppg, with foes connecting on only 37.4 percent of their field goal attempts, including 29.8 percent from beyond the arc. Travis Trice (16.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.9 apg), Denzel Valentine (14.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.7 apg) and Branden Dawson (10.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg) are all averaging double figures in the scoring column, while serving valuable roles in other areas as well. Trice and Valentine both hit for 14 points in the recent loss to Kansas, but the team as a whole managed just a 32.2 percent shooting effort. Trice and Dawson went a combined 7-of-29 from the floor, but the Spartans did play well defensively in limiting the Jayhawks to 37.0 percent field goal efficiency, as they missed the mark on 11 of their 14 3-point tries. MSU lost the battle on the boards (44-36), and was outscored at the foul line (18-12). Notre Dame has been an offensive force in the early stages of the 2014-15 campaign, as it is putting up 86.3 ppg in knocking down 58 percent of its field goal attempts, which includes a 43 percent showing from 3-point land. Add in a defensive stand that holds the opposition to 56.9 ppg on typical shooting outputs of only .375 overall and .271 from beyond the arc, and its little wonder Mike Breys club is off to such a fast start. Jerian Grant is averaging 18.4 ppg as one of four double-digit scorers for the Irish, but he is much more than a scorer as he already has 50 assists (7.1 per game). Zac Auguste (15.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Pat Connaughton (13.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg) have performed well at both ends of the court. Grant used a 6-of-8 showing from 3-point range to compile 26 points, while Connaughton hit three treys to tack on 17 more, as Notre Dame had very little trouble dispatching visiting Chicago State last Saturday. In all, four players reached double figures for the Irish, who shot 58.5 percent from the floor, draining 14 3-pointers along the way. As for Chicago State, it made good on only 30.9 percent of its total shots, which included a dismal 5-of-23 performance from long range. The visitors also attempted only four free throws, while getting battered on the boards, 39-26. Juan Mata Spain Jersey . -- Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes Thursday for a 7-under 63 to take the lead after one round of the Honda Classic. Gerard Pique Jersey . Especially after he got ejected. "How many innings was that?" he wondered.SAO PAULO - Landon Donovan says the United States will head to the World Cup with its most experienced group of players, giving the Americans a "real chance" to do well at this years tournament. As the U.S. finishes a week-and-a-half training camp in the host country, Donovan said American players have enough confidence and experience to confront more traditional World Cup teams heading into a first round that includes matches against Germany, Portugal and Ghana. "I think the experience that we have now far exceeds the experience that we ever had with any team, and that lines up to give us a real chance," Donovan said Thursday. "We are confident in how we play. We are confident in what we do. Our guys have had enough experiences against all of these players, against teams like Ghana, Portugal, Germany. ... We feel confident that we can get results against them, and thats a nice feeling going into a World Cup." The U.S. opens against Ghana on June 16, plays Cristiano Ronaldos Portugal six days later and closes the group stage against Germany on June 26. The Americans will be playing in their seventh straight World Cup, and Donovan is heading to his fourth. "Theres never been competition for places like there is in our team now," the midfielder said during a news conference. "You can really make a case for probably 35 or 40 guys to be a part of a 23-man roster, and thats never been the case. Its really up for grabs in a lot of positions, and that in itself obviously creates competition, which makes the team better." Donovan, who turns 32 in MMarch, said the U. Gerard Pique Spain Jersey. S. team is more respected by opponents. "The reason its the group of death is because we are in it," he said. "In the past, it would have been a relatively easier group for Germany or Ghana or Portugal because they had us in it. But now, because we are in it, it makes it one of the most difficult groups in the tournament." Donovan said the first goal remains to reach the knockout stage of the 32-nation tournament. "Our expectations, like most teams, are to get out of the group," he said. "We are aware that we have a difficult group, but the expectation is that we can do it and we are going to try to get out of our group, just like most teams in this World Cup. That is the objective. That is the goal. But we feel good about where we are at." German coach Jurgen Klinsmann brought 26 players to this training camp get acclimated to the teams World Cup base in South Americas biggest city. The team, mostly with players from Major League Soccer, will play an exhibition against South Korea on Feb. 1 at Carson, Calif. "Weve been very lucky to have two weeks here in Sao Paulo," Donovan said. "Its been very nice to have a couple of weeks to adapt to what its going to be like this summer. When we come back we have a comfort level. We know the people, the club, the training facilities. It makes it a lot easier. You get a feeling for what its like here, and it helps a lot." Klinsmann is expected to visit the Arena da Amazonia on Friday in the jungle city of Manaus, where the U.S. will play Portugal. Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL T-shirts From China Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys China Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys ' ' '