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Michigan State basketball: Predicting the rest of the 2023-24 schedule

We are halfway through Big Ten play.

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

The second half of the Big Ten season is upon us and here’s how I think Michigan State basketball will fare.

Michigan State basketball is currently at the halfway point in its Big Ten season. After a rough 1-4 start, the Spartans have bounced back and are 5-5 as they move to the second half of the conference season. The Spartans’ resume isn’t strong enough yet to guarantee an NCAA Tournament appearance, so there is still work to be done.

Predicting outcomes for this MSU team will be tough as they’ve been inconsistent all season, but here is my best attempt at predicting the rest of Michigan State’s season.

Dominant at home

The Spartans have an even split of home and away games left at five apiece. And the way I see it, MSU will go 5-0 in their home games to finish this season. Two of the games don’t scare me (Iowa and Ohio State) but the other three could create some issues. Maryland is up next in MSU’s season this weekend, and if you remember the Spartans barely beat the Terps on the road a few games ago. Maryland stormed back in the second half and gave Michigan State everything it could handle. However, I don’t think Maryland has enough talent to beat MSU on the road, so I think the Spartans will win comfortably on Saturday.

The final two home games are scary to me. Illinois is one of the best teams in the conference and the second most difficult game left on the schedule. The Spartans already lost to Illinois by three, but I think MSU gets their revenge. MSU’s resume-building opportunities are dwindling, so I think Tom Izzo will have his guys ready to go in the biggest home game left on the schedule.

The final home game of the season, Northwestern, will also be tough. The Wildcats dominated MSU once this season and they have had MSU’s number for some time now. Northwestern also has beaten Purdue once and just took them to overtime on Wednesday night. However, it’s been a very long time since Michigan State has lost on senior night, so for that reason alone I think MSU will get the win.

The road struggles continue

The Spartans haven’t been a good road team this season, only winning on the road once at Maryland. And I predict the road struggles will continue for Michigan State. Let’s just get the Purdue game out of the way first, shall we? Could Michigan State beat them at home? Absolutely. But even the best MSU teams struggle at Purdue, so this is the only game I’m confident MSU loses.

The two road games I think MSU will win are Penn State and Michigan. These two teams are two of the worst in the conference, and Michigan State has already beat both comfortably this season. Michigan has won at home the last few seasons, but I don’t see a world where that happens this year.

A road game at Minnesota is fast approaching, and I’m not feeling confident here. The Gophers almost beat MSU in East Lansing two weeks ago and that was without their star player Elijah Hawkins. With him back in the lineup, I think the Gophers will have the edge as the home team.

Last is the season finale at Indiana. The Hoosiers aren’t a very good team this season, however they have had MSU’s number in recent years. I don’t really have a good reason to pick this as a loss other than just having low confidence in this team on the road and previous struggles against Indiana.

If the Spartans finish 7-3, that will take their record to 20-11 and 12-8 in the Big Ten. I know this isn’t where we want MSU to be, but this would guarantee an NCAA Tournament appearance regardless of what happens in the Big Ten Tournament.

The final half of MSU’s Big Ten season begins Saturday when Maryland comes to town for a 5:30 p.m. ET tip.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 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.

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