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Michigan State basketball: Getting to know Indiana

Indiana is suddenly hot.

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Michigan State basketball opponent: Indiana
© Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball will face Indiana on Sunday to close the regular season. Let’s get to know the surging Hoosiers.

The regular season finale is finally here for Michigan State basketball. The Spartans celebrated a big victory on their Senior Night, and now they get to play spoiler as they travel to Indiana for theirs. The Hoosiers present a huge challenge for MSU, and winning this game will be extremely difficult.

Before the game gets here, let’s review Indiana’s season and see how the Hoosiers have done this year.

Indiana season in review

The Hoosiers have had an up-and-down year, but they are starting to trend in the right direction and are making a case for an NCAA Tournament appearance. Indiana is 17-13 overall and 9-10 in the Big Ten. They had a pretty average non-conference slate, meaning they beat the teams they should have but couldn’t get a marquee victory. Their only Power Six non-conference win came against Louisville, which isn’t a win to hang your hat on this year.

Moving into the Big Ten season, the Hoosiers kept that same trend as their non-conference slate. For the most part, they won the games they should, but couldn’t beat the best teams in the conference. The one bad moment for Indiana was getting swept by Penn State which is one of the worst Big Ten teams this year. The second loss to the Nittany Lions came at the end of a four-game losing streak.

However, the Hoosiers have saved their NCAA Tournament hopes by rattling off three straight wins against Wisconsin, Maryland, and Minnesota. They will take this win streak into the matchup with MSU on Sunday, showing they are playing their best basketball of the season.

Key players to watch

The Hoosiers are led by two guys averaging 15.7 points per game. The first is center Kel’el Ware who is also averaging 9.7 rebounds per game. Ware is coming off a 26-point, 11-rebound double-double in the Hoosiers’ last game so he will be a handful for the Spartan bigs.

The other leading scorer for Indiana is Malik Reneau, but unlike Ware he has been struggling recently. He’s been below his season average in three straight games, including eight points in their last outing. We’ll likely see some Malik-on-Malik action as Malik Hall will probably be the Spartan guarding Reneau this game.

The Hoosiers aren’t a great 3-point shooting team as Ware is the only player above 40 percent at 44.4% this year. Xavier Johnson is the next best Hoosier from beyond the arc at 38.5%, but he steps it up at home shooting 42.1% from beyond the arc at Assembly Hall.

This is not the easy game we once thought it was. For all the struggles Indiana has had this year, they have turned a corner and then some. Indiana is also desperate for another win as they still have work to do to make the NCAA Tournament. Assembly Hall will be very loud as well for their Senior Night and because their team has been playing well.

I don’t have a good feeling about this game, but if Michigan State can pull off a win I will have a lot of confidence in this team once again as they head into the postseason.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 600 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports. Work has been featured in Bleacher Report, Yahoo, and Yardbarker.

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