Michigan State suffered a tough loss at the hands of Iowa on Tuesday night in East Lansing.

The Spartans fell 78-71 to a Hawkeyes team that appears to be on the outside-looking-in of NCAA Tournament conversations. Michigan State is now 17-10 on the year and still needs to win a few more games this season to improve its seeding in the Big Dance.

This was the third Quad 2 loss for the Spartans already this season. Michigan State is also just 3-7 in Quad 1 contests so far in 2023-24, but will have opportunities to improve that record down the stretch.

The Hawkeyes were led by Payton Sandfort in this game, who scored 22 points and chipped in 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Two other Iowa players also scored in double figures.

For Michigan State, the Spartans were led by Tyson Walker and Malik Hall who each scored 16 points. AJ Hoggard added 15 points in the losing effort.

Michigan State’s biggest issue in this contest came at the charity stripe. The Spartans allowed Iowa to go to the foul line 23 times while Michigan State went just 7-of-14 on freebies. Overall, the Hawkeyes made 11 more free throws than Michigan State — more than making up the difference in the final score.

Michigan State is now 9-7 in conference play and would be a 5-seed in the Big Ten Tournament if the field was finalized today.

Michigan State will try to get back in the win column on Sunday as the Spartans host Ohio State. If you’re interested in betting on that game, here’s how you can take advantage of a new-user sign-up bonus at one of the best Ohio online sportsbooks on the market.