Whoever loses this one will likely see their NCAA Tournament bubble burst.
In many ways Michigan State burst Indiana’s bubble just ten days ago when the Spartans rallied from an early deficit and left the Hoosiers dazed and confused in Bloomington. They still haven’t recovered.
IU appeared to be on their way to a fourth win in five tries after their quick start against Michigan State, but now the teams are headed in opposite directions. The Hoosiers have lost three straight, while Michigan State has won three of four.
According to bracketmatrix.com Michigan State is the first team out of the tournament and Indiana is the third. Neither can afford to lose this game — but somebody will.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Indiana (12-12, 7-10) at Michigan State (13-10, 7-10)
- Tip time: Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.
- Television: BTN (Brandon Gaudin and Robbie Hummel)
- IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith)
- Series: Indiana leads 71-56 (MSU won last meeting 78-71 on Feb. 20)
- Point Spread: Michigan State is a 3.5 point favorite
- KenPom has No. 37 Indiana by 1 point over No. 62 Michigan State
Michigan State is led by Tom Izzo who is 641-251 in 26 years in East Lansing.
ARCHIE MILLER ON MEETING MSU AGAIN
After losing nine of 13 coming into the first meeting, Michigan State appeared to be a lost cause. But as he often does, head coach Tom Izzo seemed to find something in February. Although they are coming off a 73-55 loss to Maryland, Michigan State has now won five of eight and IU head coach Archie Miller believes the Spartans have turned a corner.
“We have a quick turnaround to play a Michigan State team that we just played a week ago, so there’s not a whole lot to talk about on that one,” Miller said. “We’ve got a lot to get better at, and we’re going to have to be a lot better against them because they’ve done what we’re trying to do. As you struggle, as you go through it, they found a way to get one, and to me Michigan State looks like the team at the beginning of the season a lot of people thought could make a really deep run, and one thing can change to the next quick, and we’re going to have to try to find our opportunity to make that happen.”
ARMAAN FRANKLIN UNLIKELY TO PLAY
Indiana starting guard and second leading scorer Armaan Franklin did not play in Indiana’s 73-57 loss to Michigan on Saturday. Already dealing with a sprained left ankle, Franklin was seen in a walking boot on his right foot during the Michigan contest. After that game Miller suggested that the new injury is likely to keep Franklin out of this week’s games.
“Armaan has a right foot injury, which isn’t his original injury,” Miller said. “His ankle was on the other side. He awkwardly landed in the Rutgers game, and it seems to be more of a bone bruise issue than anything, heel through the Achilles. Uncomfortable, sore to touch, nothing structurally wrong. Really at this point it’s a pain tolerance thing. There wasn’t even a question that he wouldn’t go today. I don’t believe he’ll go the rest of the regular season in my mind with how he’s operating right now in the boot, and we have to find a way to collectively be a little bit better now that we know he’s not going to play.”
Franklin scored 13 points and added four rebounds and three assists in the first meeting.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIRST MEETING
THREE KEYS FROM THE FIRST MEETING
1. MSU figures it out on offense. The Spartans were a disaster to open the game with eight turnovers in the first 9:11 while shooting under 30 percent. But Michigan State committed just six more turnovers for the game and shot 49.2 percent for the game overall including 56.7 in the second half. Michigan State scored 52 second half points, twice their first half total. Indiana, on the other hand, had seven second half turnovers which offset their own solid 55.6 percent second half performance from the field.
2. No answer for Henry. At 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds and with inside-outside skills, Indiana didn’t have a good matchup for junior forward Aaron Henry. The Indianapolis native scored 27 points, attacking relentlessly and scoring through contact. “We didn’t have a real good matchup for him,” coach Archie Miller said after the game. Henry played the full 40 minutes and only had one turnover.
3. Indiana’s guards are a no show. Let’s start with the positive. Trayce Jackson-Davis posted a career high 34 points and Race Thompson added 15 and seven steals, a single game theft total good for a fourth place tie all-time. But Indiana’s guards scored just 17 points collectively, including five that came in the final minute. The guards shot 5-of-23 as a group, and all five makes came from Armaan Franklin, who was 5-of-9. The rest of the guards shot 0-of-14 from the field, including an 0-of-10 effort for Rob Phinisee and Al Durham.
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