Ok, the Big Ten championship has started. Will Sparty prevail?
18:24 Big sequence here, MSU has picked up three fouls on the Wolverines early in the first half. Payne makes two free throws, 2-3 Michigan very early.
Michigan has really good transition defense. MSU got many points on run outs against Wisconsin, so far Michigan is getting back well. And once MSU gets in their offense, Michigan is playing good D too.
11:51 MSU is picking up the defense to take a 16-9 lead. They have been on a 12-0 run. I expected the Wolverines to have difficulty handing the pressure of the moment, and so far it's showing.
6:59 MSU is dominating on the glass, and currently +9 on rebounds. Lots of one and done for Michigan.
4:39 So far State's defense and rebounding has been the real difference in this game. Shooting seems to be pretty much even. At one point yesterday State was shooting 71% from the floor, they aren't shooting that well right now, but are still making a good percentage of their shots.
3:36 Horford has just picked up his third foul. Foul trouble could be a problem for Michigan in the second half. I imagine Horford will be sitting for the rest of the first half.
Half time, 38-29 Michigan State. A few unproductive possessions by Michigan State allowed Michigan to creep closer at the end of the half, however State finished with a emphatic dunk by Garry Harris.
The second half has started.
Michigan States starts the second half with a 6-0 run, forcing Beilein to call a time out at the 17 minute mark of the second half. It looks to me like MSU's size is a real factor in this game. It also looks like Michigan is not handling the pressure of the moment very well. Stauskas seems to be the only person provide offense, the Wolverines need scoring from other sources and they need to get more rebounds.
Michigan is on verge of losing a #1 seed in the tournament.
Greg Anthony is trying to keep viewers watching, telling us that Michigan can still get back in this game. Not going to happen unless State let's them back in. State has to keep the intensity.. remember this game is about revenge!
10:30 52-40 Michigan State. Sparty's game unless they stop playing defense and start taking poor shots.
Stauskas has no points in the second half, even with Harris sitting out most of the half.
2:40, 62-50 MSU. Michigan is pressing, but it's not affecting State.
Indianapolis has been very nice to Michigan State this year, with the football team winning the Big Ten championship there in the fall to go to the Rose Bowl.
Michigan State is the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball tournament champions with a 69-55 victory over Michigan. I don't know whether this victory makes up for losing the two games during the regular season.
Nobody is going to want Michigan State in their bracket for the tournament. They could have the best front line in college basketball. If they stay healthy, they easily can be in the final four.
Michigan State looked great yesterday in beating Wisconsin, while Michigan had more difficulty against Ohio State. Michigan has won both of the regular season games with Michigan State, but in both instances State was playing without some key players.
State really doesn't have any pressure in this game, I don't think they are going to significantly help or hurt their NCAA tournament seeding; this game is pure revenge for Sparty. Michigan could be playing for a top seed and has the pressure of expectation as the regular season Big Ten champ. For all these reasons, I expect Sparty to be victorious at the end of the day.