When: Sunday, Jan. 27, 1:00 p.m.
Where: Assembly Hall
The Michigan State Spartans (17-3) have won six games in a row in the Big Ten. The Spartans now have a lead over Michigan, and Indiana in the conference race. They are coming off of a two point win at Wisconsin, and now they must visit the preseason favorites, Indiana.
Indiana (17-2) has an opportunity to earn a tie atop the Big Ten standings with a win. After a five point loss to Wisconsin, Indiana won two straight games, yet they need this win against a solid competitor, to get back on track. They are (5-1) in the action packed Big Ten.
The Hoosiers are the leading scoring team with 83.7 points per game. They like to get up the floor quickly, and Cody Zeller will outrun the opponent’s big men if they don’t get back on defense. Zeller averages 16.4 points per game. He also leads Indiana in rebounds, and blocks.
The speed of the game will be a factor for the Spartans. They should be able control Indiana in the half court, but the home crowd will fuel the Hoosiers’ running game. They only average 69 points a game, so the tempo will play a major factor in the outcome. Defensively, Michigan State gives up fewer than 60 points a night.
The Spartans must try to stay turnover free to keep Indiana from transition points. It’s easier said than done when you’re going against Indiana’s ball pressure. Victor Oladipo jumps into the passing lanes with great anticipation.
Keith Appling leads the Spartans in scoring at 14.1 points per game, but he must be the consummate floor general on Sunday.
Indiana will have too much shooting and speed on the offensive end against the Spartans. Therefore, if Michigan State can’t dictate the tempo, they will fall behind early.
Michigan State 74
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