This week in Assist Map Mondays, we explore a thrilling top-10 road upset in the Big Ten. On Saturday, February 2, the Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Michigan State Spartans 79-75 in overtime in East Lansing.
Prior to the game’s start, KenPom gave the visiting Hoosiers a 5.1% chance of taking down the Spartans. Prior to this game, Michigan State had a 10-0 record at home, while Indiana had a 1-7 record on the road. Coupled with the fact that Indiana was also on a seven-game losing streak, the outcome of this contest was no doubt surprising.
The Hoosiers did not shoot the ball particularly well from the field (28-72, or 38.9%) but made up for it with stellar three-point shooting (10-20). The Spartans, on the other hand, had a solid shooting performance, making 29 of their 64 shots from the field (45.3%) and 9 of their 21 from beyond the three-point line (42.9%). However, their free throw numbers left a lot to be desired, as they only converted 8 of their 22 opportunities (36.4%). This was an atypical, but costly, performance at the line for the Spartans, who shoot 71.7% on the season.
The Hoosiers recorded 21 assists in their exciting overtime win. Junior point guard Devonte Green came off the bench to lead the way with five assists, with three going to sophomore forward Justin Smith and the other two going to senior forward Juwan Morgan and sophomore guard Aljami Durham. Junior big man De’Ron Davis also came off the bench to contribute four assists, with two going to Green and the others going to Durham and freshman wing Romeo Langford. Langford dished out four assists as well, with two going back to Davis and the other two going to Devonte Green and freshman big man Jake Forrester.
Despite posting a seven-game losing streak and holding a 4-7 conference record, the Hoosiers remain very much alive in the hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid. Because of their significant wins against Marquette, Louisville, and now Michigan State, Indiana has positioned themselves for a tournament bid. Prior to their win against Michigan State, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had listed them as one of the last four teams to make the tournament in his projections. Now, they have the opportunity to further improve their standing with the selection committee throughout the rest of their Big Ten conference games. Michigan State, on the other hand, remains in prime position to gain a high seed in the tournament despite this loss. Though they have dropped back to back games, the Spartans post a 18-4 record and are 9-2 in their conference. Lunardi had projected them as a two seed prior to the loss.