The opportunities to lose a Quad 3 game in the loaded Big Ten are pretty rare, but Indiana did it for the second time this season on Saturday when it lost 78-71 at home to a Michigan State team that entered the day ranked No. 90 in the NET. Making matters worse for the Hoosiers is that they led the game by 13 points in the first half and got a career-high 34 points from Trayce Jackson-Davis in the loss.
Indiana (12-10, 7-8 Big Ten) entered the day as one of the "Last Four in" for the projected NCAA Tournament field, according to CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm. But the loss will drop the Hoosiers out of the projected field for now, according to Palm.
Until Saturday, the Hoosiers had suffered all but one of their losses against Quad 1 opponents, meaning the only relatively bad loss on their resume was a home defeat against Northwestern from back in December. But suffering a second Quad 3 loss will put even more pressure on fourth-year coach Archie Miller to close the season strong. As of now, Indiana is scheduled to end the regular season with games against Rutgers, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.
The Spartans (11-9, 5-9) entered Saturday's game having lost six of their last eight after rising to No. 4 in the AP poll back in December. Their comeback win over the Hoosiers came largely because of a combined 28 points in the second half from Aaron Henry and Joshua Langford. Michigan State, which is still well outside of the NCAA Tournament picture, still has six scheduled regular season games remaining, including a game against No. 4 Ohio State and two contests with No. 3 Michigan.