I guess MSU Coach Tom Izzo finally got his Michigan State Spartans to realize that March is here? In their 74-56 rout over the #6 Purdue Boilermakers, State finally played like a preseason #2 team in national college basketball.
And of course they did it in March, a month in which they’re known to be at their best. It took all the way to the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals, but it did happen.
This was about as complete a game, at both ends of the floor that State has played all season. And the win, in very convincing fashion, over a top opponent has clinched their way into the NCAA Tournament.
By Paul M. Banks
The Spartans started off scorching hot, racing out to a 10-2 lead. Kalin Lucas’ shooting touch burned hotter than a Brooklyn Decker photo shoot. He was 7-10 from the floor, 4-4 from behind the arc in the first half. He finished with a game high 30 points on 8-15 from the floor.
State was up 37-24 at intermission on the strength of 7-9, 78% from beyond the arc. Purdue was just 1-10 10% from three. Purdue did make their run though; just like you knew they would. The Boilers cut the deficit to single digits on two occasions inside nine minutes.
“Purdue is a team of runs and they’re going to make their runs, and we just needed to stop the bleeding…Lewis Jackson averaged 16.5 points against us this year. His points usually come in during their runs,” Spartan forward Draymond Green said.
In the previous two meetings Purdue beat State by a combined 30. In their loss tonight, Jackson had just two, on 1-4 shooting. The Spartans owned the glass 41-28 and did a fantastic job limiting their role players. “we did a great job on Jackson and (Ryne) Smith,” Green said.
For more on the Spartans bubble situation go here
For more on who State is on the bubble with, who is competing for their bid go here
Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports
He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
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