Indiana women’s basketball, the 2022-23 Big Ten regular season Champions, will play their first game of the conference tournament tomorrow when they face 9-seed Michigan State in the quarterfinal round. Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
1-seed Indiana (26-2, 16-2 Big Ten) enters this one fresh off of their second loss of the season, an 86-85 heartbreaker at Iowa last Sunday. Losing on a buzzer beater is always tough, but this week wasn’t all that bad for Indiana. The Hoosiers dominated the Big Ten awards announcement on Tuesday when head coach Teri Moren won Coach of the Year and senior forward Mackenzie Holmes took home Defensive Player of the Year honors. An additional four Indiana players received recognition from the conference’s coaches and media, more on that can be found here.
As far as this particular matchup goes, Indiana fans should be feeling pretty good. Although the Spartans upset the Hoosiers in their singular regular season meeting on 12/29, this is probably the ideal matchup for IU. Indiana has a considerable size advantage on MSU and the circumstances surrounding their December loss suggest it to be an anomaly. Nebraska took the Hoosiers to overtime on New Year’s Day and I personally find their weapons to be a little more concerning. A physical, tiring MSU win is just what we’d hoped for earlier.
9-seed Michigan State (16-13, 7-10 Big Ten) got here by way of a 67-64 upset of 8-seed Nebraska earlier this afternoon. The Spartans led throughout and busted the game open with a 14-0 run between the third and fourth quarters. Nebraska played out the end game as well as they could’ve but MSU guard DeeDee Hagemann was just too good, finishing with a team-high 18 points. The other big plot point from today’s game was MSU’s defense. They held Nebraska star Alexis Markowski to just 12 points off 4-14 shooting.
Mackenzie Holmes is the best Big in the conference but Markowski certainly finds herself in that next tier of forwards. MSU’s play against her likely gives them the confidence they need before facing Holmes, who dropped 32 in East Lansing during their last meeting. Expect a lot of quick, quick doubles from the Spartan defense tomorrow.
Another thing worth noting with Michigan State: head coach Suzy Merchant has been away from the program since late January due to a medical issue. Associate head coach Dean Lockwood has served as acting HC and is 5-4 through nine games.
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 3 at 12:30p.m. ET
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM
Follow along with the game and share your thoughts below, our Indiana women’s basketball game thread!