The difference in this one wasn’t who was more talented, who had the better team or who will go further in the tournament.
This was simply about who wanted it more.
Maryland isn’t a bad team and didn’t play a bad game (save for the offensive dumpster fire in the first half). The Terps were simply caught playing a team that had a fire lit underneath it. Maryland wanted to win; MSU needed to win.
A quick glance at the box score doesn’t yield pretty results: 36 percent from the field and 7-for-23 from 3-point land. The lid wouldn’t come off the bucket for either team in the first half. Melo Trimble still got his (24 points, seven rebounds) as did Robert Carter (13 points, five rebounds).
It didn’t matter. MSU simply would not be deterred by momentum swings. There’s no further proof than the 12-2 Maryland run early in the second half. After that push, the Spartans rattled off an 8-0 run – and outscored their opponent 32-19 from that point to the final horn.
Give a tip of the cap to Bryn Forbes. After an atrocious game against Nebraska, Fobres returned to himself in a big way with 23 points while shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
Not to be forgotten, Matt Costello didn’t look at all like a guy with a bum ankle. His 13 points and 11 rebounds were huge, and if he can will himself to play like that in big spots, his injury won’t be a factor moving forward.
It's also worth mentioning that Michigan State in large part took away Diamond Stone. Limiting the Terp center (six points, six rebounds, three blocks) meant limiting the flow of Maryland's offense. Despite Trimble's big game, the Terps were clearly flustered offensively.
All in all, MSU’s desperation proved that this team might go through some bumps in the road – but don’t count them out until the season is officially over.