Indiana (20-5, 10-2) at #8 Michigan State (20-5, 7-5)
When: Sunday, February 14th 2016
Where: Breslin Events Center, East Lansing, MI
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: CBS
The Indiana Hoosiers will look for their first road win against a ranked opponent this season when they travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans. Indiana bounced back from a horrible loss at Penn State with a win over conference leading Iowa on Thursday 85-78. Leading scorer Yogi Ferrell (17.1 points) followed up a 3-for-12 effort against the Nittany Lions with a 2-for-12 against Iowa, but went 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch to seal the win. Center Thomas Bryant pitched in 10 points and seven rebounds, but played just 14 minutes as he got into early foul trouble. Bryant (12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds) has six or more rebounds in five straight games. Guard Robert Johnson (8.0 points, 3.2 assists) stepped up his game against Iowa by hitting 3-of-5 three-pointers and finishing with 13 points in 32 minutes. Indiana is in a first place tie with Iowa in the Big Ten after Maryland’s loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. The Hoosiers are squarely in the NCAA Tournament, but would love a signature road win to cap off a terrific season heading into the postseason.
The Spartans bounced back from a three-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak in conference play but could not make it five and fell in overtime at Purdue 82-81 on Tuesday. Michigan State battled back from an 18-point deficit to force the extra period but star Denzel Valentine’s 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds were not quite enough for the win. Valentine (19.0 points) has scored 19 or more in seven straight games and his 27-for-50 from beyond the arc in his last six contests. The Spartans are third in the country in three-point percentage (42.2) and fifth in holding opponents to just 28.9%. Michigan State is one of the top teams in rebounding margin per game at 15.5. The Spartans look to finish strong heading into the Tournament with four of their final six games at home and only one (Indiana) against a ranked opponent.
Indiana struggles on the road and are 3-8 against the spread away from Bloomington. Michigan State is 7-4 ATS at home with a 10-2 overall record straight-up. Seven points seems a little high for this game. I think Indiana keeps it close.
Pick: Indiana +7