Michigan State 73, Indiana 56

For the third time in Tom Crean’s six seasons at Indiana,  the Hoosiers start the Big Ten schedule 0-2.
The first time was his first season, 2008-09, when IU started 0-8 in conference play before finishing 1-17 in the Big Ten. Two years later, it was an 0-4 start for the Hoosiers, who ended up with a 3-15 Big Ten record.
There’s no reason to think these Hoosiers will mimic those kind of records in conference play; there’s too much talent for that.
And realistically, it’s not as if either of IU’s losses so far are really bad losses. Yes, 23 turnovers against Illinois is nothing to be proud of, but the fact that the Illini needed overtime to beat a young IU squad that turned the ball over 23 times says something about both teams.
And Michigan State is one of the top teams in the nation, with loads more experience than the Hoosiers.
But if IU is to make it to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season, the Hoosiers are going to have to learn momentum.
“The more you (play), the better the understanding you have,” Tom Crean said. “It’s not like we can all of a sudden put three months of Big Ten basketball into these guys’ bodies.”

Here are my game stories for the Tribune-Star and the Post-Tribune. And you can catch up with all my sportswriting on the Sportswriting page of the site.

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