Yeah! Football in a week, yeah! So what better way to celebrate the upcoming football season by discussing the top five MSU regular season basketball games in the past five years! That was a bit of a tease, I know. However, I've done football for the past two weeks in this spot, and I thought I'd switch it up this week.
#5: MSU v. Texas, '08-'09
After the first bloodening by North Carolina, the Spartans needed to bounce back against a quality opponent to stay in the hunt for a high NCAA seed. Michigan State was trailing by one with less than a minute left and...well, just hit play on the video.
#4: MSU v. Gonzaga, '05-'06
The game which taught us all to set our DVRs to finish an hour later than the scheduled game's end. After Ager picked up his fourth foul early in the second half (note - there was no video of this game on YouTube, thus the blurry black and white Ager highlight reel in the game's place), he exploded to finish the game with 36 points, including the jaw-dropping three-pointer to send the game to its first overtime session. Even though MSU lost, I still remember this game as one of Ager's best performances. It's hard to believe a few mouth-breathers still hate Suton for blowing a lay-up in the third overtime.
#3: MSU v. Texas, '06-'07
Sorry, no video for this game. Just know that this Texas game was much like the Texas game at #5, but with two small differences - Michigan State led most of this game, and Drew Neitzel made the crucial score with time running down by driving to the basket for a right-handed lay-up to give MSU the win.
#2: MSU v. Illinois, '08-'09
This game might not be as exciting as some of the other games on this list , but is on here because of this - the game clinched State's first regular season Big Ten title, shared or outright, in eight years. The game's not half-bad as well, and once again this game is one where I can't find a decent highlight reel.
#1: MSU v. Wisconsin, '06-'07
Michigan State's NCAA streak was in jeopardy entering this game with the then #1 Badgers. The Spartans were 6-6 in the Big Ten, and a win against Texas at a neutral site was the only good victory on MSU's resume. Because of those factors, a loss in this game might have been the deathblow to any shot at the NCAAs. I was worried at the start, but once Travis Walton made a three-pointer five feet behind the arc with the shot clock sounding...well, let's say I knew something good would happen. Drew Neitzel scored four straight baskets in the second half to push MSU to victory and an NCAA spot, and what you see above is the celebration.
I'm sure I've left games out. Any others?