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Michigan State 64, Navy 59 -- Three Things We Learned

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The Spartans got much more than they bargained for, but they still held on to a win against Navy.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to basketball! Frustrating, yup! Infuriating, you got it! I think few Spartan fans are going to be happy with that performance, but a win is a win, and at the end of the day few people are going to remember the embarrassment this could've been. Here are three things we learned:

1. Travis Trice played like the Spartans' MVP. Branden Dawson, not so much. Dawson had a fairly impressive first half offensively, getting inside for several easy lay-ups and dunks. The second half Dawson sat for long stretches due to unimpressive play. Trice however, was awesome. He scored the majority of MSU's second half points and when the offense wasn't going through him, it simply wouldn't go. This team needs Dawson to be a spark plug desperately.

2. The defense has to improve drastically. Too many times was Navy allowed to cut inside to the paint for easy layup. Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling didn't cover themselves in glory to say the least. The light has to go on soon for the Duke game on Tuesday to be competitive instead of a blowout.

3. Please let Alvin Ellis come back soon. The sophomore shooting guard went out in the first half shortly after throwing a lob pass to Dawson for an alley-oop. The official diagnosis is a sprained ankle, so let's hope he's back quickly -- with Javon Bess still out and Bryn Forbes playing with an injury, guard depth will be an issue for the next month.

At least the pressure's off for Duke on Tuesday, as MSU will be favored by no one. Post your relief/gripes in the comments.