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Notes & Quotes: Gonzaga was Michigan State’s “game to lose,” but Spartans are moving on to Kentucky

“There was more disappointment than satisfaction,” Tom Izzo said about MSU’s loss to Gonzaga.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 11 Armed Forces Classic - Michigan State vs Gonzaga Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan State men’s basketball is preparing to take on No. 4 Kentucky on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic. The game begins at 7 p.m. Eastern Time in Indianapolis and airs on ESPN.

MSU head coach Tom Izzo had a lot to say in his weekly press conference about last Friday’s 64-63 loss to No. 2 Gonzaga, as well as what’s ahead for Michigan State. Perhaps most notably, Izzo isn’t looking for any moral victories out of the loss in San Diego.

“We approached this summer with this schedule,” Izzo said on Monday. “From June when we got here, that’s when we finally got Villanova and (Gonzaga), we approached every day like we know we’ve got a tough schedule. I don’t think we went in not thinking we could beat them.”

In the end, Izzo says Michigan State still lost and he doesn’t look at it as a moral victory.

“That was our game to lose,” he said. “There was more disappointment than satisfaction.”

Regarding junior center Mady Sissoko’s big game, Izzo said he’s proud to see that.

“You really enjoy when a kid works his tail off, pays his dues, goes through the process and then has some success,” Izzo said about Sissoko. “Now the issue will be, can he duplicate that?”

Moving from Gonzaga to Kentucky, Izzo said Michigan State is going to go from Gonzaga to a team that has a completely different style of play,

“The biggest difference, we’re going to go from a team that runs a lot of stuff and does a lot of things, and completely goes into their center in Gonzaga, and now we’re going to go into one that is athletic as maybe any team we’ll play,” Izzo said.

Izzo mentioned senior center Oscar Tshiebwe as Kentucky’s most dangerous player, noting that he was a very strong offensive rebounder last season (averaging 5.3 offensive boards per game).

Tshiebwe — the reigning National Player of the Year — has been recovering from knee surgery and is yet to play this season. He could very well suit up against the Spartans.

He also said that Kentucky, in general, might be the “best rebounding team in the world.” Additionally, he mentioned that the Wildcats have four seniors, “which is almost illegal.”

Michigan State opened as a six-point underdog on DraftKings for tonight’s game against Kentucky. After Kentucky, MSU’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, as it faces Villanova and Alabama.