February 28, 2012

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State vs. Indiana Preview

Two of the top sides in the Big Ten are going to square off in college basketball betting action on Tuesday night when the Michigan State Spartans head to Assembly Hall to fight it out with the Indiana Hoosiers.

The stakes are high on Tuesday night for the Spartans, especially knowing that they are going to be the marquee game on the slate on ESPN. They are still gunning for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and in all likelihood, they are one of the five or six teams that are trying to snare one of the two available top slots (the others going to Kentucky and Syracuse, who seem to be locks for No. 1 seeds). A win in Bloomington on Tuesday night would also lock up the outright Big Ten title in the regular season and ensure that the Spartans will be the top seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament. Meanwhile, this is a team that is playing as well as anyone in the country right now. The defense just held the Nebraska Cornhuskers down to just 34 points over the weekend, and that was the team’s seventh win since losing to the Illinois Fighting Illini in the other Assembly Hall in the conference. Head Coach Tom Izzo has done a remarkable job with this defense, which hasn’t allowed more than 62 points in a game since the middle of January.

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The Hoosiers know that they have already wrapped up a coveted spot in the NCAA Tournament, and this is the type of game that there is very little that can be lost and only things that can be gained. There are still some suspect losses on the schedule of late, including one to the Iowa Hawkeyes and a near miss in this building to the Northwestern Wildcats, but when push comes to shove, this is a resume that is nearly squeaky clean. IU is still the only team that can say that it owns a victory over the Kentucky Wildcats this year, and that magic came right here in this building. All eyes, as always, are going to be on freshman, Cody Zeller. Zeller was brought into Indiana to try to resurrect this once proud program, and he has certainly not been disappointing. Sure, there are some games in which we are reminded that this is indeed just a freshman, but Zeller is still averaging 15.4 points and 6.5 boards per game, and his numbers are getting better and better as the days go by. He is also a 63.6 percent shooter from the field.

The Final Word: We would love to back the Hoosiers at home, but it feels like they have hit a bit of a stumbling block. Michigan State has gone 6-1 ATS in its last seven games, and it is one of those teams that is just doing a remarkable job over the course of the last few months. It will be a tight game throughout, but in the end, Draymond Green and the Spartans should prevail.

Michigan State Spartans @ Indiana Hoosiers Pick: Michigan State -2

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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