Michigan State Spartans
Current record: 12-8 (4-4)
Current RPI:36 (IU is #144)
Current Sagarin: 31 (IU is #91)
Current Pomeroy:34 (IU is #65)
2009-10 record: 24-7 (14-4), lost to Butler in NCAA Tournament national semifinal
2009-10 Sagarin: 13
2009-10 Pomeroy: 23
Series: IU leads 65-47
Last Michigan State win: 2/16/2010 (72-58 in Bloomington)
Last IU win: 2/16/2008 (80-61 in Bloomington)
Last IU win in East Lansing: 2/28/1991 (62-56)
TV: 6 pm Sunday, Big Ten Network
After its first win over a ranked team since 2008, Indiana hits the road and will play in its most frustrating road venue, Michigan State's Breslin Center. When IU last won in East Lansing, Bob Knight was the coach and wouldn't be fired for another nine years; Calbert Cheaney and Greg Graham were sophomores and Damon Bailey was a freshman; and most current Hoosiers hadn't been born. Some very good IU teams have failed to win at Breslin, so it would be ironic if this IU team managed to pull the upset. Michigan ended a long East Lansing losing streak with a win at Breslin on Thursday, but IU still faces long odds.
While the Spartans' 12-8/4-4 record isn't what the Spartans usually are showing at this point of the season, in large part their record is a function of what Pomeroy rates as the nation's toughest schedule. Before the loss to Michigan, all of MSU's losses came to teams currently ranked in the Pomeroy top 20, with the exception of the loss to #49 Penn State, which is now 5-4 in the Big Ten with wins over Wisconsin and Illinois as well as the Spartans. And MSU has not struck out completely against top teams: they have wins over Washington and Wisconsin.
A look at the Spartans' tempo free numbers show a decline in the Spartans' typical strengths. MSU's rebounding numbers are above average at both ends of the court 36% on offense, 30% on defense, but not as overwhelmingly good as usual. MSU's two point field goal defense is excellent (43 percent), but they have allowed their opponents to make 36 percent of their three pointers.
Here are the Spartans' individual numbers:
Most of the top contributors from last year's Final Four team are back. The Spartans' top scorers (Kalin Lucas, Durrell
Summers, and Draymond Green) all are threats from three point range. Point guard Korie Lucious, who had been producing 6.5 per game and 4.1 assists per game, has left the team and apparently will transfer.
This will be a tough game for the Hoosiers even if they play their best. While it's always difficult to take positives from a loss, a defensive effort like we saw against Illinois would be a positive, and hopefully the Hoosiers won't lapse into bad habits. Hopefully IU will be in a good position as they approach the next week, crucial home games against Minnesota and Iowa.