Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan St Spartans Pick & Prediction MARCH 10th 2024

Michigan State and Indiana have arrived at their matchup to end the regular season nowhere near where they hoped to be when the campaign started.

Both the visiting Spartans and Hoosiers know there still is time to salvage what have been disappointing seasons, leaving plenty on the line Sunday at Bloomington, Ind., despite having no impact on the Big Ten regular-season title race.

Michigan State was ranked No. 4 in the country in the preseason, but inconsistency and underperforming veteran players have left the Spartans simply hoping to keep alive their streak of making the NCAA Tournament.

The Spartans (18-12, 10-9 Big Ten) enter after posting a 53-49 win over Northwestern on Wednesday that snapped a three-game losing streak, but their strong strength of schedule and NET ranking (No. 23 going into Friday) have them still in listed in most NCAA Tournament field projections.

A road win at Indiana would go a long way to solidifying an NCAA bid, with the subsequent hope being that they can use the postseason to fulfill preseason projections.

“I still think we have some game left in us,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. “I think there’s things we can do.”

Indiana (17-13, 9-10) has struggled all season, but enters on a three-game winning streak and playing its best basketball.

The Hoosiers have beaten Wisconsin at home and won on the road at Maryland and Minnesota during the stretch. The success has coincided with the return of senior point guard Xavier Johnson, who missed six games with an elbow injury.

It was also reported before the Minnesota game that head coach Mike Woodson will return next year as coach in a move that took the weight of uncertainty off the program.

“Guys are committing themselves,” Woodson said. “We’re playing now like we should have been playing. X makes a difference, there’s no doubt about that.”

–Field Level Media

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