- Michigan State is a 2.5-point home favorite versus Indiana on Tuesday (March 2nd, 8 pm EST)
- Both teams desperately need a win to keep their March Madness hopes alive
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
A pair of NCAA Tournament bubble teams clash on Tuesday (March 2nd, 8 pm EST) in East Lansing, MI as Michigan State hosts Indiana. The Spartans (13-10, 7-10 Big Ten) had their three-game winning streak snapped last time out by Maryland, while the Hoosiers (12-12, 7-10 Big Ten) have dropped three straight.
Indiana vs Michigan State Odds
|Indiana Hoosiers||+2.5 (-110)||OFF||Over 137.0 (-110)|
|Michigan State Spartans||-2.5 (-110)||OFF||Under 137.0 (-110)|
Odds taken March 1st.
Michigan State opened up as a 2.5-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 137. This is the second and final game of the season series, after the Spartans took the opener 78-71 in Indiana a week and a half ago.
MSU Struggles vs Maryland
Michigan State delivered an embarassing performance on Sunday, falling to the Terrapins by 18. Joshua Langford and Aaron Henry led the way offensively with 12 and 11 points apiece, but were a combined 7-for-29 from the field. The duo weren’t the only Spartans to struggle offensively, as the team shot 33.8% overall, and just 8-for-28 from beyond the arc.
— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) February 28, 2021
They also missed 40% of their free throws en route to only 55 points, their third lowest point total of the season. Defensively, they allowed Maryland to knock down 48.8% of its looks, including 50% from 3, and forced only 7 turnovers.
The result was especially disappointing given how well Michigan State had been playing. After shifting to a small-ball lineup, the Spartans had reeled off three straight wins, including victories over #4 Illinois and #7 Ohio State.
Michigan State's last six days, as told by Aaron Henry's postgame quotes:
Indiana: "We just had to strap our nuts on and play."
Illinois: "I don't get tired, I won't get tired, I don't have time to get tired."
Ohio State: "Don't applaud a fish for swimming. Fish swim all day."
— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) February 26, 2021
Now, their incredible run of 22 straight March Madness appearance could be in jeopardy, and will go on life support should they fall to the Hoosiers. Many experts believe the Spartans not only need to win this game to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, but one or two more in the Big Ten Tournament as well.
Indiana Free Falling
The Hoosiers meanwhile, are an equally desperate program. A week and a half ago, prior to its loss to Michigan State, Indiana was projected as an 11-seed, but now they’re on the outside looking in. They’ve dropped three straight and four of five overall, most recently falling by 16 to #3 Michigan.
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) February 27, 2021
Aljami Durham led the with with 15 points in a losing effort, while Race Thompson chipped in 11. Leading scorer Trayce Jackson-Davis was held to just 10 points, while the team shot only 38.5% from the field, and 4-of-15 from beyond the arc. The team was missing Arman Franklin, their second leading scorer and top 3-point shooter, with a foot injury and he’s unlikely to suit up against MSU. That’s a big blow to a middling Indiana offense, and will put even more pressure on their below average defense to step up.
The Hoosiers rank 10th in the Big Ten in points allowed, 11th in opponent field goal percentage, and are dead last versus the 3. They’re one of the weakest rebounding teams in the conference and have allowed at least 72 points in six straight outings.
Statement Game For Spartans
Indiana’s defense is a big reason for their recent struggles both straight up and against the spread. The Hoosiers are 3-7 in their last 10 ATS, losing by an average of 10 points over their last three games. That stretch includes their loss to the Spartans, who were extremely efficient in their last meeting.
MSU shot 49.2% in that outing, including 41.2% from downtown, and Henry couldn’t be stopped. The Junior tied a season-high with 27 points, while Langford added 14 points, 6 boards and 5 assists. That game kickstarted the Spartans’ best stretch of ball of the season, and a rematch with the Hoosiers is just what they need to make a final run at a March Madness berth.
Pick: Michigan State Spartans -2.5 (-110)
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