Two of the Big Ten’s biggest brands are set for a critical league battle Sunday on CBS when Indiana hosts Michigan State in a game featuring teams trying to navigate through the sprawling mid-tier of the league standings. The matchup is the first of two between the programs this season and is shaping up to be one of the best matchups of the day in college basketball.
After a 1-4 start to Big Ten play and a five-game losing streak, Indiana (12-6, 3-4 Big Ten) has come back to life strongly over the past week with wins from two digits over Wisconsin. and Ill. The Hoosiers are in the projected NCAA Tournament field as the No. 8 seed entering the game, according to CBS sports bracketology expert Jerry Palm, and have looked much improved in their last two outings.
Star big man Trayce Jackson-Davis is playing some of the best basketball of his career, as he finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in last Saturday’s win over the Badgers and followed that up with 35 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks in Thursday’s win over the Illini. He made a combined 24 of 32 attempts from the field while leading the Hoosiers in scoring in both games.
Michigan State (13-6, 5-3) is coming off an impressive 70-57 win over Rutgers on Thursday that epitomized this version of the Spartans. Unlike Indiana and Jackson-Davis, there is no superstar for MSU, which had five players reach double figures in its win against the Scarlet Knights. Senior guard Tyson Walker has led the way of late averaging 17.3 points on 53.6% three-point shooting in six January contests, but a variety of different Spartans are capable of stepping up in any game.
The Spartans haven’t been ranked since early December, but a win here could be enough for Michigan State to return to the AP Top 25 and a prime position among the group of teams chasing Purdue in the Big Ten standings.
How to watch Indiana vs. michigan state live
Date: Sunday, January 20 | Hour: 12 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Assembly Hall — Bloomington, Indiana
TELEVISION: CBS | Live broadcast: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app (free)
Indiana vs Michigan State prediction, picks
Trayce Jackson-Davis is in the absolute heat for Indiana as the Hoosiers have won two straight games in convincing fashion to resurrect their season. The Assembly Hall should be rowdy for this one, as IU looks to rebuild its first three-game winning streak since November. Michigan State has played just three road games in the league thus far, but is 2-1 in those games and should have the composure to handle the environment. These Spartans are a veteran group coming off an impressive 70-57 defensive win over Rutgers. Look for them to keep you tight and potentially steal one along the way. UI has simply been too inconsistent to trust. Prediction: Michigan State (+3.5)
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