4 storylines for Indiana-Michigan State

1. Valentine for Valentine’s
There was a degree of poetry contained within Michigan State’s most recent Valentine’s Day game, a 59-56 win over No. 23 Ohio State last year in East Lansing. It featured an outstanding effort — and a game-winning shot — by star Denzel Valentine, who drilled a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds remaining to down the Buckeyes. Valentine led all scorers with 17 points that day, and will be on the lookout for a similarly impactful performance today against the Hoosiers. Valentine, who missed four games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Dec. 21, is averaging 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists during the nine games he’s played since returning from the injury.

2. House of horrors
Michigan State holds the clear advantage at the Breslin Center, where the Spartans have won 86 percent of their games since the facility opened in 1989. That includes a 186-43 record in Big Ten play and a stretch of home dominance over the Hoosiers. In the Tom Izzo era, Michigan State has lost only one home game to Indiana — the 2013 meeting. The last time Indiana traveled to East Lansing, it was turned away with a 70-50 loss on Jan. 5, 2015. An early 12-0 run for the Spartans set the tone, and IU guard Yogi Ferrell was the only Hoosier to score in double figures with 17 points.

3. Angry Spartans
Michigan State will be plenty motivated for this game, especially after the way its last one ended. The Spartans emerged from an 18-point hole against Purdue. then let a four-point advantage disappear in the final two minutes of regulation. Left to take care of business in overtime, Michigan State couldn’t close. In the final seconds, a controversial foul call on Valentine 30 feet from the basket allowed the Boilers to win at the free throw line. For IU, it was an unfortunate scenario to see unfold. Not only have the Spartans played well as of late, they’ll now be playing angry.

4. Multiply by 3
Today’s matchup pits two of the nation’s top 3-point shooting teams against one another. Indiana is No. 11 in the country with 9.9 made 3-point field goals per game, while Michigan State is No. 38 with 8.8 per contest. The Spartans are on track to break the program record of 8.1 3-pointers per game — a mark that was established during the 2013-14 season. “Our 3-point defense will be tested,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “They have four players shooting over 50 percent from 3-point range in the last five games, which is unheard of.” On the other end of the floor, Michigan State leads the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense at .289.