Michigan State, as expected, won easily against Arkansas-Pine Bluff this afternoon. Our three thoughts:
1. I know some of you thought I was cocky when I said MSU would absolutely beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff. However, MSU hasn't lost to an opponent in the 300s in KenPom since KenPom has data (2002), so I felt fairly secure. I understand if you felt like A-PB could pull the upset, especially since the New Jersey Institute of Technology went into Ann Arbor and (HA HA HA HA HA) beat Michigan today. That said, NJIT almost beat Marquette in Milwaukee, so NJIT was definitely a step above your typical non-conference patsy from the evidence so far this season.
2. That said, MSU put this game away at the half. Sure, A-PB outscored Michigan State in the second half, but that was because Izzo put in the second team with a lot of time to go in the second half. This was the performance you would expect from a top 25 team: Branden Dawson led MSU in rebounding, Bryn Forbes made more than half of his threes, and Denzel Valentine had an 8:1 turnover to assist ratio. In all, a good return to form after a sort of second half collapse against Notre Dame on Wednesday.
3. So that's all the basketball analysis today, and while the game was fun to watch (albeit the first half much more than the second half), I'm sparing a thought for Ace Anbender from MGoBlog today. Yes, the loss to NJIT didn't help things, but ever since he was over at the Wolverine Blog, Ace has always been someone I've had the pleasure to interact with. He's going through some health troubles again, and if I could give you 50 pounds of my weight on my 5'9" frame Ace, I would, because we'd both be healthier for one, and if you're reading this, I sincerely hope you heal up and get better soon. The Big Ten blogosphere wouldn't be the same without you, Ace.