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Roundball recap: All-around embarrassment leads to rivalry loss for MSU basketball

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Stagnant offense. Sleepy defense. And is the Izzone still on break?

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Embarrassment. There’s not another word for it.

One week ago this was a team heralded as one of the nation’s best. Heck, maybe the best team ever assembled at Michigan State.

A week goes by, and this is what you have – a team with two lottery picks that will likely not even win their conference. A team that looks, quite frankly, like they couldn’t care less about playing basketball the last three games. A team that has no leader and gets too down when the going gets even a little tough.

And now, after a 82-72 loss in their lone meeting with their rival, we have Michigan fans caring about basketball two months ahead of schedule.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

What a second half, starting with the most apathetic passing you can dream of (four turnovers in the opening four minutes) and continuing with squandered chances. And, crazy enough, our offensive game plan of “throw the ball aimlessly around the perimeter for 25 seconds then heave” didn’t work. Neither did “give Miles the ball to drive baseline 4,000 times, only to have him stopped short and dumping it off to someone.”

Not bad, only 18 turnovers guys! Glad that crippling problem is being taken seriously!

It’s sensational for a team to be this sloppy with the ball on a consistent basis. How does a core of a team play 54 games together and have this much of a turnover problem? Do they have to hit a turnover quota for their scholarships to kick in?

The only thing worse than the offense in the second half was maybe the defense. That seems like a good way to lose a game – have a stagnant, turnover-happy offense on one end and a turnstile defense on the other end.

If they’re going to let them to the hoop so easily, at least be nice and set up velvet rope for them. Maybe roll out a red carpet too. Treat your guests with respect.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know what else to say about the team, really. Bridges was just fine today. Langford didn’t do much of anything on offense (his defense was decent though). Ward looked like he was playing defense on stilts. Cassius was mediocre at best. Tum Tum is Tum Tum. I won’t say anything about Matt McQuaid because he didn’t even know there was a game today, apparently.

I also love the surefire “now Tum Tum is a different look at point guard for Michigan State” from the announcers every game. Just say he can’t score in an open gym and is the furthest thing from a shooting threat. Just be honest with us.

Let’s talk about the Izzone. I want to make it clear they are not the reason we lost. This isn’t our “they won because of the rain!” battle cry.

With that said – the Izzone is a joke. They made today’s game a neutral court. You want a friendly afternoon beating your rivals face in? Just head to the Breslin Center – they’ll be happy to host you and won’t make a peep while you do it.

Southern Utah? Sure, I can get maybe not going nuts for that game.

Only game against your in-state rival? No, I can’t think of any good reason to be that cordial. If I’m a student, I’m now going to basketball games for a quiet place to study. It clearly doesn’t matter who they’re playing.

And no, please, save your excuses. Don’t give me the “the product on the court sucks” line. Sorry the few highlight dunks weren’t enough to wake you up. Sorry your seats within 10 rows of the action aren’t close enough to get you involved. Sorry the fact that Michigan is in town isn’t enough to bother you to jump or make any noise.

For the 15 of you who actually cared, thank you. To the other 3,500 of you, please just stay home next game. You’ll probably have a better wifi connection for your beloved phone there anyway.

Let’s try to end this on a good note. I thought Jaren Jackson was great today, minus the foul trouble in the first half. Xavier Tillman was fantastic on both ends of the floor off the bench. Gavin Schilling had a nice game too, and we’ll always have that insane dunk. So that’s pretty cool, I guess.