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Michigan State basketball: 3 fearless predictions at Indiana

Will the Spartans win a big road battle against preseason Big Ten favorite Indiana?

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Michigan State basketball
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State basketball has another tough road battle and this time it’ll be to Bloomington to take on Indiana. Who wins?

Winning on the road in the Big Ten is never easy, but Michigan State basketball will have a shot at making some noise in the conference standings on Sunday afternoon with a win at Indiana.

Assembly Hall is historically one of the toughest places to play, but Michigan State will be ready.

Heck, these Spartans have been battle-tested, and then some, this season. A hostile environment (unless it’s Mackey Arena) won’t shake them.

Here’s how I see the game playing out.

1. Mady Sissoko plays a great defensive game vs. TJD

Mady Sissoko has had a bit of a rough stretch. His lack of offense has gotten people wondering if Tom Izzo should just give Jaxon Kohler more minutes. While Kohler is probably worthy of more playing time, Mady’s defense wasn’t all that bad against 7-foot-4 monster Zach Edey and I think he’ll rise to the occasion once again on Sunday against Trayce Jackson-Davis.

It’s no secret that Mady usually plays his best against elite bigs and I think TJD falls under that category and he’ll hold his own. Mady will hold Jackson-Davis under 50 percent shooting and make his life miserable all afternoon long.

2. AJ Hoggard dishes 10 assists

Playing really well lately, AJ Hoggard is due for a double-double type of performance and I think we’ll see him do just that on Sunday.

Hoggard will exploit a major advantage at the point guard position and drive and dish as well as get to the rim and score some buckets of his own. He’s going to have the hot hand all game long and he’ll finish with 10 assists thanks to some solid shooting by the Spartans for a second straight outing.

AJ is going to end up with 13 points and 10 assists with just two turnovers.

3. Michigan State picks up an “upset” win

I’m not Vegas, but I’m just going to assume Michigan State will open as an underdog on Sunday when the lines come out. And if that’s the case (which it will be), I think the Spartans not only cover, but they pick up an “upset” win in Bloomington.

Indiana has had Michigan State basketball’s number over the years but I think this team is just playing well enough lately to overcome any road environment or mental obstacles.

Even without Malik Hall, I think Michigan State is the better team and we’ll see that on Sunday afternoon. It’s going to be close all game, but the Spartans get the last laugh with a 63-61 win.

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.

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