The Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan State basketball teams will battle on Tuesday night as the Hoosiers fight still to have a shot at a Big Ten title. The Spartans, on the other hand, are fighting for their March Madness lives. The Spartans are coming off a bad loss against Michigan, in which they played well but fell apart in the last two minutes of the game.
The Indiana Hoosiers have been one of the hottest teams in College Basketball over the last month. They are being led by Trayce Jackson Davis, who should be one of the two favorites to be the Big Ten player of the year, along with Zac Edey of Purdue. The Hoosiers need the win in this game as they travel to Purdue on Saturday for a huge showdown.
The Indiana Hoosiers have not always been at the top of their game in the last few games, but their toughness cannot be questioned. The Hoosiers continued to roll against Illinois this past weekend because of a suffocating defense down the stretch and some timely shooting from Miller Kopp and Jalen Hood Schifino. Trayce Jackson Davis was solid but not as dominant as he has been lately. You have to wonder if fatigue sets in for Davis as he continues to play, on average more than 37 minutes per game. To win a game in a hostile environment, the Hoosiers will need more consistent play from Schifino in the backcourt as he tends to make some head-scratching errors, but the kid has ice water in his veins and has bounced back from some critical mistakes this season.
The Hoosiers bench production has been non-existent as of late, and they need Tamar Bates and Jordan Geronimo significantly to contribute more. The Hoosiers are down to a six or seven-man rotation, and with fatigue mounting up as conference play heats up, the Hoosiers will need a lot more production from the bench.
The Spartans seem to be in the March madness field now, but they need another big win or two to secure their spot in the field. MSU has a terrible record on the glass. According to ShotQuality, MSU ranks 285th in rebounding percentage. Indiana ranks 155th in the nation but is still below the NCAA average. According to KenPom Indiana is ranked fifth in offensive rebounding and eighth defensive rebounding. The Spartans are ninth and fourth in Big Ten play, respectively. Indiana should have the upper hand on the boards in this game.MSU must reduce its offensive rebounding margin, or TJD could have a field day.
This was the case the last time these teams met. TJD brought in 10 defensive boards and five offensive boards during a 13-point Hoosier victory.MSU’s 2s are also very inefficient. It ranks 301st for 3-point attempts but only 47.8% for 2-pointers. The Spartans, on the other hand, are only hitting 37% of their 3s. Their shot selection is terrible. They rank 351st in shot selection.For the Spartans to win this game, they need to get hot from deep, and they will have to rebound the ball at a much higher clip than they usually do.
The Hoosiers dominated the Spartans in their matchup earlier in the season, 82-69. The Hoosiers were led by Trayce Jackson Davis, who scored 31 points, 15 rebounds and four assists. Indiana shot 9-15 from the three-point line, and the Spartans struggled beyond the arc, shooting less than 30 per cent. The Hoosiers outrebounded thee Spartans, but by the smallest of margins, 32-30.
I like Indiana and the +2.5 points in this one. The night’s emotion worries me with this being the Spartans’ first home game since the mass shooting on campus. I love the Hoosiers’ toughness, and they have the best two players on the floor in Trayce Jackson Davis and Jalen Hood Schifino.
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