Big Ten basketball is as big as it gets among the college ranks, and with five teams in the top 25, that statement is no exaggeration. Conference play has started and is in full swing, so naturally, it’s a Big Ten powerhouse versus another Big Ten powerhouse, so you know that’s always a recipe for a good game. This time around it’s the Michigan State Spartans traveling to Assembly Hall to take on the Indiana Hoosiers for the game of the week.
Despite a few losses to worthy opponents so far this season, the Spartans look to be a solid contender in the Big Ten. Their offense and defense is fueled by floor general, Keith Appling. Averaging 14 points and almost 2 steals, he’s the unquestioned leader of the team, with freshman Gary Harris being his second-in-command. Offensive production is then spaced out evenly among the rest of the starters and a few guys coming off the bench, so look for the Spartans to have a balanced attack going into Bloomington, Indiana.
They’re not only one of the top ranked teams in the Big Ten, but they’re one of the best in the country, and for good reason. They come out, put up points in bunches on the offensive end, and play stellar defense to snuff out the competition. There’s no debate who the leader of this squad is, and that’s sophomore forward Cody Zeller. Inasmuch as the Hoosiers play goes through Zeller, it seems like their success is more dependent on the play of junior guard Victor Oladipo. It’s a given that Zeller will produce, but the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of Oladipo seems to be the deciding factor.
With the Hoosiers being home, it’s not likely that they’ll drop this game to a Big Ten rival. Being brutally honest, we don’t see it happening, so look for Indiana to take this one in an unexpected rout.
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