It is desperation time for two of the old-school premier names in the Big Ten, as in its win or get out of the race for anything this season time. Getting to the charity stripe was one of Michigan State's largest strengths.
Shortly after the announcement was made, the Longhorns played one of their best games of the season in beating TCU 99-98. But that was at home, and those Badgers played shorthanded due to injuries. MSU is 16-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten. Former 4-star wide receiver Hunter Rison is transferring from the Spartans, an announcement made earlier this week. So it's unlikely the host took their visitor lightly. "We did not play with enough toughness tonight". Starting sophomore forward Nick Ward played 14 minutes and finished with four points. Then he posted them up and hit a fadeaway jumper. With eight seconds left, Bridges went to the line for two shots. The Scarlet Knights trailed by 12 early in the first half and was down by seven with 6:23 left in regulation. "We just didn't make some plays down the stretch". The crest/logo/whatever you want to call it kind of reminds me of the Bucks, and also kind of (again) the Free Masons, and also the way the C crosses the M and A kind of looks like a crown which is cool I guess, so ultimately I don't hate them. The way to compete was by dictating tempo, which is easier said than done against a roster of elite athletes.
The game should be a matchup of strength against strength as the high-powered offense of Michigan State (fifth in the NCAA with an offensive efficiency of 122.4) takes on the top-notch defense of Michigan (24th in the NCAA with a defensive efficiency of 93.1). Tremendous advertisement for the program. He's uber-talented and wildly athletic, a guy that deserves all of the hype that he gets as a potential lottery pick this season, but the truth is that he projects as a role player at the next level. "Give him credit. He was the difference in the game". They also get a chance at Purdue on the road, which will be tough, but you have to steal a win or two like that to win a conference title.
MI made 27 of 32 free throws after connecting on fewer than 65 percent of their free throws before the game.
One of the most surprising sub-plots of the college basketball season is that this year's MI team, one that, until Saturday, started Duncan Robinson alongside Wagner on the front line. Far too often when this team gets behind, it scrambles and can not find a leader to rely on. Our guys played with heart and poise and the whole thing.
The Terrapins' defense was lax from the start and Michigan State took advantage. That's why they're ranked one, two, three, four - whatever they want to be. "There were some turnovers they earned, there were some turnovers we deserved, so a little bit of both". We moved the ball around.
Next year, the Spartans could be even better as the team returns most of its starters from a year ago. Improbably, it's the Boilermakers who appear to be the league's best team at the moment, while the Spartans are just trying to avoid being overtaken by the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
"We answered several [times]", Beilein said. That's what you're going to see every night, and I don't think we responded well to it at all.