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BLOOMINGTON, IN — In improbable fashion against Michigan State, the Indiana Hoosiers beat the No. 6 Spartans 63-62. Indiana keeps their tournament hopes alive, but they do not quite control their own destiny. In a season of craziness, Indiana sneaking into the tournament with at-large bid would make just as much sense as anything else that has happened this season for Archie Miller.

Defense was the name of the game, as Indiana did not let the Spartans score in the final 4 minutes and 15 seconds.

Not only were the Hoosiers strong on defense in the final minutes, they were able to get a victory in the final seconds as Michigan State had 30 seconds to score at least one point, and they failed to do so.

This is the first time the Hoosiers have won back-to-back games against a ranked opponent since the 2016 season where Indiana beat Iowa to win the Big Ten title two years ago today, and then knocked off Maryland.

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This is also the first time Indiana has beaten Michigan State twice in one season since the 2012-2013 season.

The Hoosiers were off to yet another slow start, as they could only muster up two points in the first 3 minutes and 31 seconds. The quick scoring run for Michigan State had the Hoosiers down 9-2 in the early minutes of the game, something we have seen many time before this season. Justin Smith was the alone Hoosier to start the game out by scoring, as he scored the first seven points for the Hoosiers, including a 3-pointer.

The Hoosiers continued to struggle in the first half, as it took until the 5:29 mark in the first half for someone other than Smith to score a field goal. Justin started out the game scoring the first 13 of Indiana’s 14 points.

A few 3-pointers from Al Durham and Rob Phinisee kept the Hoosiers in the game. Cassius Winston and Kenny Goins each had a strong first half. They scored 17 of Michigan State’s 35 points, and Cassius was looking for some revenge after the last outing against Indiana.

At one point during the end of the first half, Winston told Spartan players to clear the lane so he could go one-on-one with Rob and show him up. Rob, being the stud defender that he is, stopped Winston’s flex, but Winston was still able to make plays throughout the first half.

Indiana’s offense did not look good in the first half. Romeo Langford was 1/5 from the field with a total of 3 points. Juwan Morgan did not make a single field goal, scored only 1 point, but did manage to rack up 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Not only did the offense look out-of-sorts at times, but the defense had some holes as well.

Indiana’s feet were not moving fast enough, and they lacked some of the energy they had on defense in the previous three games. At halftime, one has to wonder if the extended Big Ten schedule and the double-overtime victory just four days prior were catching up to the Hoosiers.

The beginning of the second half was much like the first half. Justin Smith kept scoring, offense and defense were solid at times, but nothing too spectacular. Michigan State kept the lead around 8-9 for most of the half, but that did not stop the Hoosiers from battling back.

The beginning of the second half was much like the first half. Justin Smith kept scoring, offense and defense were solid at times, but nothing too spectacular. Michigan State kept the lead around 8-9 for most of the half, but that did not stop the Hoosiers from battling back.

With about 13 minutes left in the second half, the Hoosiers went on a 9-0 run right before the under-12 media timeout in just 1 minute and 49 seconds. The Hoosiers brought it back to a 1-point game as the Spartans led 45-44 with 11:49 left.

Bang.

Devonte Green, hits a 3-pointer with about 3 minutes to go in the game. This brings it within 3 for the Hoosiers. Fast forward to the 1:46 mark left in the game. Juwan Morgangets a rebound, gets hammered, throws up a shot, and it’s now tied up at 62. Morgan makes the free throw, and the Assembly Hall crowd is rocking.

Turnover Michigan State, and there is more life in Assembly Hall than there has been all season. The Hoosiers are on the verge of taking down #6 Michigan State for the second straight time.

The game clock read 1 minute and 46 seconds. Defense for both sides headlined each team and it would be the catalyst for the Hoosiers to acquire their 6th Quad-1 win on the season (not including Butler).

The Spartans had 33 seconds and two chances to score one point in the final seconds of the game to get revenge on the Hoosiers, but defense on Cassius Winston let to a 63-62 victory for Indiana.

Notable statistic: Justin Smith has a career-high in points with 24.

Box Score

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Next Up

Next up, the Hoosiers will have another go at the Illinois Fighting Illini this Thursday, March 7th at 8:00 pm eastern. The game will air on FS1, and the Hoosiers will be on the road for this game as they look to sweep Illinois this season. The Fighting Illini are ranked 65th in KenPom, but look to keep battling the Hoosiers to get into the Thursday game of the Big Ten Tournament.

This is an important game for that reason alone. Illinois has not had much luck recently, losing the last three games, but have still racked up six conference wins. They went on a four game conference win streak this season, so they can get hot, and the Hoosiers cannot overlook this matchup.

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