College basketball Super Tuesday will see a huge Big Ten battle. No. 5 Michigan State will travel south to take on No. 20 Indiana. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds have Michigan State favored by 2.5 points with the total being set at 138 points. In a huge game for bragging rights in the conference, Indiana will look to hold serve on their home court.
Free Analysis: Michigan State has guaranteed itself a share of the Big Ten Title in what many people believed wasn't possible this season. However, Michigan State, now up to fifth in the rankings, can win the title outright if they win their eighth straight contest tonight. The Spartans (24-5, 13-3) began the season unranked in the polls and lost three of five games at the end of January. Yet, since losing 42-41 to Illinois a few weeks ago, Michigan State has been able to run off seven straight wins by an average of 14 points. "We're playing for a lot more than just sharing a Big Ten title," Draymond Green, who is averaging 19.3 points in the last four contests, said. Green has been playing considerably well this season and could very well earn a Big Ten Player of the Year award. He will look to guide Michigan State to their second outright Big Ten Title in four seasons. They're also looking to beat Indiana (22-7, 9-7) for the seventh straight time. Tom Izzo and the Spartans would be happy with winning the conference and holding the trophy for themselves. In fact, they're making it a mission to beat Indiana tonight and claim the conference title for their own. Why share what you can have and hold for yourself? It's definitely been an incredible season for the Spartans and only a win tonight to take the conference title would make it real. "I get paid to make sure people understand you have bigger goals," Izzo said. "Whenever you accomplish one, there should be another one. I get paid to never be satisfied and I let the players know that." Izzo potentially could have a Final Four team on his hands, a team that appears built for the tournament. Indiana hasn't beaten the Spartans since an 80-61 home victory Feb. 16, 2008. Michigan State has beaten Indiana by an average of more than 15 points per game in all of those wins against the Hoosiers. They played in the conference opener this season where the Spartans handed the Hoosiers a complete beatdown. Sparty Keith Appling had 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds as State shot 54.7 percent in an 80-65 home win over Indiana. Indiana star freshman Cody Zeller (15.4 points per game) was held to a season-low four points against State in that game and the Spartans are looking to hold him down yet again. Zeller struggled in the team's last game as well, scoring just seven points against Minnesota. Hoosiers star Christian Watford has struggled scoring the basketball lately, even with 12 points against Minnesota on Sunday. Playing against the Spartans might be a good thing for him. Watford made nine shots, including four 3-pointers, to finish with 26 points and 10 rebounds at Michigan State in December. He's averaged 20.3 points in three career games against the Spartans. Might be a good thing they're playing them. Indiana is a tough team at home this season as well, winning six of seven home conference games and averaging 78.9 points on 50.3 percent shooting in those contests.
Free Pick: I love Michigan State in this spot with the title on the line. Sparty has owned Indiana in the past few years and with a huge win here tonight, Michigan State can reach a major goal set for themselves at the beginning of the season. The Spartans have just two double-digit scorers per game in Green and Appling, but they are the essence of a complete team. They play excellent defense, are one of the best rebounding teams in the country and win games on the road, sporting a 7-3 record away from the Breslin Center this season. Too much on the line here tonight for Michigan State. Love the Spartans here.
Free Picks: Florida at Vanderbilt BettingPossible let down for Vanderbilt after Kentucky game and winner of this game locks down 2nd place in SEC game plus other factors college basketball bettors need to know about Marquette at Cincinnati (Tuesday, February 28, 2012) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Stephen Nover and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.