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Eyeing IU


Tipping off

Indiana will be prepared for a little bit of everything when it plays at Michigan State tonight.

The No. 1 Hoosiers (23-2, 11-2 Big Ten) play the No. 4 Spartans (22-4, 11-2) in the first top-five matchup ever in East Lansing, Mich., with first place in the conference on the line. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

"There's nowhere you go into that game and say, they can't make baskets," Indiana coach Tom Crean told reporters Monday. "We've got to be able to adjust inside of the game like we did here. We've got feel great about our plan, but at the same time, we've got to have a plan B and C. That's what we do because they are really good."

The Hoosiers won the first game between the teams this season 75-70 in Assembly Hall.

But Indiana hasn't fared well in Breslin Center, where it has lost its last 17 games and hasn't won at since 1991.

"It's tough to play anywhere in the Big Ten and obviously getting some experience and getting some wins on the road is going to help, but it's a great team and it's going to be a great matchup," Hoosiers guard Jordan Hulls said. "We're excited to play in it. We can learn from those experiences."

Indiana is expected to have guard Victor Oladipo for tonight's game. The junior sprained his left ankle Saturday against Purdue, but Crean said Monday that Oladipo has been practicing and should be ready to play.

Michigan State likely will not have backup guard Travis Trice, who has missed four games because of concussion-like symptoms.

Spartans coach Tom Izzo said during Monday's Big Ten coaches teleconference that he has seen the Hoosiers improve since the teams' first meeting.

"I think (Cody) Zeller has been more aggressive down low," Izzo said. "I think (Will) Sheehey and (Christian) Watford are playing at another level. They are better in those positions. I think they are starting to get a little bit more off their bench. They have some different guys that they are bringing in. I think they are better there.

"I'd say the biggest thing is Watford and Sheehey have been even more consistent."

Indiana was able to hold off Michigan State in the first game, but it is tough to ask the Hoosiers to win in the Spartans' house.

Prediction: Michigan State 72, Indiana 68