The place: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
The teams: The Michigan's Little Brother Spartys (aka the Michigan State Spartans) and your Indiana Hoosiers!
What's at stake: For Michigan State, keeping a lock on the top spot in the conference. For Indiana, avenging their earlier loss at home to the Spartans and making up for pratfalling against Northwestern.
What does Vegas say: Opened at MSU -11.5, is up to MSU -12.5 as of this writing.
What do the Spartans say:
The current mood of IU fans right now, judging only by the iubb hashtag: "Well, crap, we may not make the NCAAs after all."
How important is this game on a scale of 1-10 (where 1 is an exhibition game and 10 is the National Championship): 8.5 (more important than most Big Ten games, less important than IU vs. UK 2011)
Over/under number of nets Coach Crean cuts down if we win this game: 3.5
My completely biased, barely researched analysis: Michigan State is still the class of the Big Ten at the moment, but if Adriean Payne can't go, the Hoosiers might have a chance. They'll have to do a much better job of shutting down Gary Harris, and someone other than Noah Vonleh is going to have to score consistently for this team. Yogi is a good shooter, but if he's not hitting early, someone else will have to step up, or this could get ugly before halftime.
Reasonable score prediction: Michigan State 75, Indiana 68
FULL HOMERSOTA prediction: Indiana 80, Michigan State 75