The Assembly Hall
HOOSIER DADDY? Tom Izzo is! Michigan State Wins at Indiana For Just the 13th Time EVER: 73-56
The #5 ranked Michigan State Spartans entered the second Big Ten tilt of the season 12-1 and 1-0 in the Big Ten having won on the road to open the season at Penn State New Yearâ€™s Eve 79-63. Who would have thought the Lions would be a tougher contest than the Hoosiers were today, but that is exactly how it played out.
The Spartans decimated the home team for just the 13th time in 57 tries. An amazing stat no doubt. I brought it up to the Spartans head man and Izzo said of the Spartans lack of success in Bloomington for 57 years when I asked him, â€œI think that tells you a lot of things, that tells you that maybe we werenâ€™t good enough, and it tells you that Indiana has been such a dominant program throughout the years.â€
Former Izzo assistant Tom Crean said of the Spartans, â€œI think they have the makings of what a National Championship team would look like. I donâ€™t think there is any question. There is no way to prepare to play against Michigan State and say that you can leave this guy here, and you can leave that guy here.â€
He went on to praise the Spartans adding, â€œTheyâ€™re too good. And they showed that today.â€
Izzo was not as happy with his team, especially with #3 Ohio State looming on Tuesday night at the Breslin. He has not time to sit back and enjoy this big road victory. Izzo said, â€œKnowing Tom Crean like I know him, Iâ€™m pretty sure both coaches were a little bit upset by the way we played in the first half. I donâ€™t think either team played very well.â€
Numbers donâ€™t lie and they tell a slightly rosier story than the Spartan head man did. They tell you that Gary Harris was what we know he is. According to Crean, â€œAn assassin,â€ and I simply call him a stone cold killer. He dropped in a career high 26 points and added five steals. Keith Appling dropped 14 points and Brandon Dawson contributed 13 points, added six boards and three steals.
The Spartans won the rebounding and turnover battle 34-32 and 11-15. Both impressive stats in one of the most difficult venues to win as a road team in America.
Izzo added about Harris play, â€œI thought Harris was unbelievable. Heâ€™s a special player, and I promise heâ€™s not even close to where heâ€™s going to be. His conditioning right now is nowhere near where it needs to be, but he was solid defensively and he did some good things on offense.â€
Hoosier F Will Sheehy had big praise for the Spartans saying, â€œWe just had to wear them down, and we didnâ€™t get a point where we could speed them up enough so we could get on the break. They had some second chance points and when the ballâ€™s going through the rim itâ€™s hard to get your break going.â€
Indiana G and star Yogi Ferrell added, â€œThe ability to get out and run, especially offensive and defensively, they do a great job of help side defense, I felt like. They especially packed the lane a lot. Those are the things they do well.â€
So now Michigan State has no chance to celebrate. Such is the life of a top five team dreaming of national titles. They are three days from a 9PM EST tip against the aforementioned Buckeyes at the Breslin. That game can be seen on ESPN. That will be a battle and one that can go a long way towards deciding the eventual Big Ten champion come March.