As poorly as Michigan State has played this season, it still has a chance to make the NCAA Tournament. That might sound surprising considering the Spartans’ 5-9 record in B1G play, but they’ll have an opportunity to make up for lost time over the next two weeks.

Michigan State will begin a 13-day stretch in which it plays six games. Four of those games are against teams ranked in the Top 5 of the latest Associated Press Poll.

Starting Tuesday, the Spartans will play No. 5 Illinois and turn around and host No. 4 Ohio State on Thursday. Then, Michigan State travels to College Park to play Maryland on Sunday. Michigan State will return home on Tuesday, March 2 to play Indiana before closing out the year with a home-and-home against No. 3 Michigan on Thursday, March 4 and Sunday, March 7.

Talk about a grind.

Tom Izzo’s team has struggled mightily throughout the course of the season and has been forced to make up some major games late in the year following a 20-day COVID-19 pause. So, while it’s an incredibly tough slate ahead for MSU, the Spartans still have a great opportunity to make a case for an NCAA tournament bid.

Over the weekend, Michigan State got an important road victory by beating Indiana 78-71 at Assembly Hall. That ended a two-game losing streak for Izzo’s squad.

Michigan State is 11-9 overall on the year. Tuesday’s game against Illinois is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will air on FS1. Thursday, the Spartans will host Ohio State at 9 p.m. ET with ESPN carrying the broadcast.