Now that Baylor has upset Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament, a top line slot is now open. If North Carolina should get upset in the ACC Tournament, you could have two spots up for grabs.
Michigan State is probably the best team in the Big Ten; even though Ohio State is the best talent. However, the Spartans have the best match-up with the Buckeyes among the teams left in Indianapolis.
So it’s there’s for the taking.
Sparty does match up well with the Buckeyes and Jared Sullinger, but first they need to get past Wisconsin. They say it’s tough to beat a team three times in a season, but Michigan State really handled the Badgers at home this year. They also won by a narrow margin at Sconnie, on that very controversial call. However, Tom Izzo finally has his win at Madison monkey off his back.
The Spartans’ two game losing streak is now over as well, as State blew out the Iowa Hawkeyes 92-75, in a game that was more lopsided than it sounds. MSU saw what their offense can do, even without Branden Dawson, a former McDonald’s All-American who is now out for the year with an ACL injury.
There’s still a lot of work to do defensively though.
“I thought we started off kind of sluggish and weren’t very good defensively early. And then these two guys (Draymond Green and Keith Appling) picked it up. I thought they both played outstanding. I thought we got a lot of Adreian Payne early,” said Tom Izzo.
“But what did impress me today was our passing and our unselfishness for three?fourths of that game. I thought it reared its ugly head a little bit at the end, but I thought we were very unselfish. And we had to get a lot of guys in, guys that haven’t played because of the foul trouble that he had,” he continued.
Izzo articulated how he got more of his bench involved, mentioning some of the same guys who will now get more time with Dawson out.
“Byrd comes in and he makes his shot, and, you know, we got some minutes for him. We got Trice a few more minutes, which I was amazed that he was able to play after the ankle thing again on Wednesday. And yet a lot of work to do defensively now. But offensively, we really moved the ball and played pretty well.”
MSU is 8-7 all time in Indianapolis, 16-12 all time in the Big Ten Tournament, but 5-2 as the top seed. They need to win it all (just like in 1999 and 2000) in order to get that #1 seed.
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