MSU keeps tournament hope alive,
cruises past Michigan, 59-44
Wolverines traveled to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State
Spartans Tuesday night at the Breslin Center – where the Wolverines
haven’t won a basketball game since 1997.
made sure they continued that streak for Michigan by beating them
59-44 in a hard fought defensive battle.
entered the game with 17-8 records and clinging to the hope of an
outside chance of still making it into the NCAA tournament in March.
State has kept its possibility of a tournament berth alive and may
have closed the door on Michigan with the victory over them.
began the game strong and led the Spartans for almost the entire
Michigan State junior guard Drew Neitzel fought to keep the Spartans
close though and hit a three pointer with close to 15 seconds left
in the half to send Michigan State to the locker room with a 1 point
had a game high 21 points with six rebounds and five assists.
defense continued to lock down the Wolverine offense and the second
half and held Michigan to an awful 35.3 percent shooting percentage.
Michigan also went to the line to attempt only four free throws
in the whole game.
senior guard Dion Harris was the only Wolverine really to get any
offense going scoring a team high 13 points. No other Michigan starter
scored more than six points.
State freshman forward Raymar Morgan tied his season high scoring
18 points. Morgan also grabbed six rebounds for the Spartans.
and Morgan combined for 39 Michigan State points – roughly
two-thirds of the team’s total points.
moves Michigan State to 18-8 for the season and ties them with Michigan
at 5-6 in the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans still have a chance
to finish strong and get a spot in the tournament in March, but
it will not be an easy task.
still have to face the number three ranked team in the nation in
Wisconsin twice, the number 19 Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan again
to close out the season.
a good chance the Spartans may have to run the table to make it
to the tournament,
and the likelihood of that is slim facing that remaining schedule.
may have essentially booked themselves a spot in March’s NIT
tournament with the loss Tuesday. They too, though, face a tough
remaining schedule to end the season.
Even if Michigan still had an NCAA tournament hope alive they would
be in the same situation as the Spartans – needing to win
out against a hard schedule.
still have to face number two Ohio State, number 19 Indiana and
Michigan State again.
now likely chance that Michigan will not be playing in the NCAA
tournament, the Michigan and Michigan State rematch on Feb. 27 may
now see the Wolverines playing the role of spoiler for the Spartans
as they seek revenge in Ann Arbor for Tuesday’s loss.
Another Viewpoint: Spartans Roll
anticipated rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State hasn’t
been all its hyped up to be. Michigan has dominated the match up
on the football field and the Spartans have proved superior on the
(18-8) coasted to a 15 point win, 59-44, defeating Michigan for
the 14th time in their last 16 meetings. The MSU win also snapped
a four game losing streak of their own, maybe getting them back
on track for the latter part of their season. The win was not easy
as the lead for the Spartans was only 1 at halftime. However, guard
Drew Neitzel put the team on his shoulders making crucial shots
down the stretch, including a 3 point dagger that would seal the
victory for the Spartans.
led all scorers with 21 points and 5 assists and was complimented
by the freshman forward Raymar Morgan who added 18 points of his
own. The Spartans have been forced to rely on their guard play most
of the season and have lacked dominance and consistency from their
big men. Tom Izzo and MSU fans hope that the play of Morgan last
night is a glimpse into the future of Spartan basketball.
Michigan (17-9) had a very sub-par outing shooting only 35% from
the floor. The recent poor play of Michigan, now below .500 in conference
play, has raised many concerns regarding post-season hopes.
In the closing
weeks of the NCAA college basketball season, this game had several
implications. The game was bigger than bragging rights as each team
desperately needed a win to help their resume. With hopes of winning
a national championship and being part of the ‘March Madness,’
both Michigan and Michigan State are on the bubble of getting into
you’re a Wolverine or a Spartan we need one of these teams
to step up so our state can have some representation come ‘tourney
to our NBA
/ NCAA Basketball section.
to our Sports