Oh boy did that SUCK.
Well, being the No. 1 team was cool for a little bit, but at the end of the day it means nothing. Having that “No. 1” by your name doesn’t win national titles, send you to Final Fours or give you conference titles.
For that last one, neither does getting smoked by 18 points. All well.
We can look at this two ways — glass half empty (very easy to do) or glass half full (a little more convincing needed to that). We’ve got both here.
Glass half emtpy
That’s what March could look like. We all see how potent this MSU team can be on defense and even more so on offense. They’re so good that they really could have the luxury of having their offense or defense take a night off as long as the other part of the game is still there. Well, on Sunday, neither the offense or defense was there. Have one of those games during the tourney, and it’s over. That simple, but we all know that.
Izzo knows much more about basketball than I do, I don’t want to claim to know more than him. My knowledge is a brick to his skyscraper, but my man...who are you donating those timeouts to?
Other than that late-half timeout that almost always results in zero points (Sunday was in the form of a turnover), no timeouts were called during the meltdown. Why not?
The last minute of the first half reminded me of a boxer taking a beating looking at the clock, wondering when the punishment would end. Just trying to scrape by to the bell. MSU was listlessly trying to get to that bell. Here’s the difference though -- you can’t call timeouts in boxing. You can in basketball. Use them.
I’m pretty sure Keita Bates-Diop just scored completely unchecked again. It’s weird — either a forward can nuke us (Kendrick Nunn, for example) or MSU shuts them down (Bonzie Colson, Luke Maye). Is throwing Jaren Jackson on their top guy the answer? Maybe.
This was the second true road game for the Spartans and they failed it miserably. Heck, even their first road game at Rutgers didn’t go totally great either. The road in the Big Ten is tough, that’s never been a secret. If they can’t figure out how to play in a hostile atmosphere, forget about stitching together the Big Ten champs banner.
Ok, so the refs weren’t perfect Sunday. So what? Anyone blaming the refs needs to look at the score. This wasn’t a five-point game. MSU nearly got 20-pieced.
I’m sorry if I’m being out of line. Maybe I missed where the refs forced MSU to take horrible, contested shots or made them give OSU easy shots. Or perhaps I missed the refs slipping MSU melatonin at halftime to assure they started the second half as flat as they ended the first one.
I’ll have to watch the game again, but unless any of that happened, don’t blame the refs. There were bigger problems than them.
Glass half full
This isn’t March. And there’s a lot of season left. That gives MSU a ton of time to rattle off more wins and, more importantly, other teams (looking at you, Purdue) to catch a fluky loss or two.
This was never going to be the 2015 Kentucky team that (almost) went wire-to-wire as a steamroller looking to kill anyone in its path. They were going to have some losses...we just didn’t know they’d get throttled in any of them.
If you think I’m in the “This team needed some adversity” camp...you would be absolutely right. This team now knows they’re not invincible. Gone are the days of double-digit wins. If they didn’t know it before, they now know they’re getting everyone’s best shot. That’s magnified even more on the road. Hopefully they spin this into a positive lesson.
No one got injured! Woohoo!
Josh Langford played pretty decent! 17 points on 6/11 shooting! (now just forget those three turnovers)
This is a legitimate team MSU lost to. This wasn’t a schmo team like Iowa or Wisconsin. OSU has been one of the biggest surprises in college hoops (an indictment on Thad Matta’s coaching abilities?) and clearly showed it on Sunday. That makes two losses for MSU now, but two losses that won’t look awful on the résumé.
We get one tuneup game before Saturday’s showdown against Michigan. Rutgers on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Let’s see if Nick Ward will get limited minutes and have Spartan Twitter meltdown again.