Michigan State was almost writtin off

College Basketball , March madness heating up

I was ready to write Michigan State out of contention the rest of this year after they suffered a couple of pretty big injuries. They had that awful three game losing streak a few weeks back, two against some fairly weak opponents in Indiana and Illinois, and then #14 Purdue, who they are tied with for first in the Big Ten. Since then they have managed to win 5 in a row- 2 of those wins against #20 Wisconsin and #7 Michigan. Those two wins against ranked teams were also both on the road. They'll get the Hoosiers again this weekend in what should be another win to add to their streak.

I don't see them losing twice to the Hoosiers this year. They have an 80.6% chance of winning this game according to ESPN. After that, it's an easy home game against Nebraska, followed by the regular season finale against their in-state rival Michigan Wolverines, but this time the Spartans will be home. If they can win out the season, having beat Michigan twice in a few weeks at home and on the road, they could easily finish in the top 5 in the polls. Indiana-once a college basketball powerhouse- is having a pretty dismal season, playing just .500 ball and an awful 5-12 in conference. Ironically, Indiana was 12-2 (and one of those losses was to Duke), but then they went on a 7 game losing streak which they snapped when they beat Michigan State back in early February, and then went on another 5 game losing streak. 

They enter the game with a one game winning streak, and as I said, there is no way Michigan State lets them beat them again this year, although the Hoosiers do have home court going for them. For Indiana, this will be their 4th meeting in a row against a ranked team, and regardless of how they close out the season, the Tournament does not seem likely this year. For Michigan State, they still have Big Ten aspirations as they are tied for first with Purdue. As for the tournament, they may be able to make a run. 

That losing streak is now behind them, and if they can win the Big Ten and enter with some momentum, I think they can be an Elite 8 team, but with Joshua Langford done for the season, and Nick ward out for a third straight game with a broken hand, I don't think they can make it to the Final Four.