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A look back at clutch moments in MSU basketball’s Big Ten season

You don’t win an outright Big Ten title without some heroics

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

When Michigan State wins 16 conference games, you have a lot of great games to look back on.

Some were blowouts — six games were decided by 15 or more points. Some were also tight games, and you don’t win an outright Big Ten title without some late-game heroics and some comebacks sprinkled in there.

Before our Spartans tip off in the Big Ten Tournament in the Big Apple, let’s rewind the season and remember the biggest plays that gave MSU another banner.

Langford’s 3-pointer vs. Rutgers (Jan. 10)

Yeahhhh that whole game was a weird one. A strange week, really, as this overtime win against freakin’ Rutgers was sandwiched between MSU’s lone two conference losses.

With the overtime clock passing the final minute mark, Langford delivered a shot of relief through the Breslin to help MSU to a 76-72 overtime win.

Jackson’s block vs. Maryland (Jan. 28)

After erasing a 13-point halftime deficit within the first five minutes of the second half, the end of the game got a bit dicey. Not only did Jaren Jackson get arguably his biggest of his 102 blocks to keep it a two-possession game, he also was alert and nimble enough to keep the ball in play with a pass to Miles Bridges. After what seemed like 1,000 free throws to end the game, MSU walked out with a 74-68 win.

McQuaid 3-pointer vs. Penn State (Jan. 31)

Three days after the comeback at Maryland, MSU was placed on upset alert against Penn State as our Spartans trailed by 11 points with just over 15 minutes left. About five minutes later, Matt McQuaid splashed home his second 3-pointer in a 20-8 run to erase the Nittany Lions lead — a lead they would never get back. The Spartans took this one 76-68.

McQuaid 3-pointer late vs. Indiana (Feb. 3)

Oh, you thought we were done with McQuaid?! Not so fast my friend.

MSU looked in control all night at Assembly Hall, but at the end of its fourth game in nine days it was clear the Spartans were just trying to hold on. That included the need of a giant shot, and that came from McQuaid. MSU went on to win 63-60.

Goins 3-pointer vs. Iowa (Feb. 6)

To many people (raises hand) this seemed like the game that would finally bite the Spartans. I mean, could they really get away with another road win while against the ropes? After being down eight points with eight minutes to go?

Well, yes. Of course they won. Of course it was a Kenny Goins 3-pointer that gave MSU the late lead. And of course Cassius Winston delivered with a late block to help seal the 96-93 win. Just what everyone predicted.

Bridges vs. Purdue (Feb. 10)




Jackson And-1 vs. Northwestern (Feb. 17)

Northwestern was up 27 points — TWENTY SEVEN! — in the first half. In front of a raucous Breslin Center cro—wait, sorry...Allstate Arena crowd, MSU had the comeback of the ages.

There were a lot of big moments to pick from in the second half of this game, but this and-1 by Jackson to cap off a 22-0 run with an exclamation point may have been the biggest one.

Cassius nails coffin vs. Wisconsin (Feb. 25)

Cassius Winston was an absolute sniper in the regular season finale, and none of his sixth 3-pointers were bigger than this late one. Winston’s 3-ball with 4:45 left gave MSU a much-needed seven-point cushion to work with down the home stretch to bring the outright title home.