Indiana 70, Michigan State 55: MSU Fan's View

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Indiana 70, Michigan State 55: An MSU fan's notes.

-- Michigan State earlier beat Indiana in East Lansing, 80-65, so I suppose this makes things even, but I still believe the Spartans are a slightly better team and would prevail on a neutral floor if the schools somehow meet again in the Big Ten tournament and/or in the NCAAs.

-- Concern at the start of the season was whether MSU would produce team depth to support Draymond Green, and this is why the Spartans were out of the Top 25 for a short spell. Things came together to the point in which Michigan State had ascended to No. 5 heading into Bloomington, but those fears came to fruition for hopefully one isolated evening in Bloomington. Green scored 29 points; the rest of the team 26. The only role player who filled his role was senior Austin Thornton, who scored 8 points on only four shots. So maybe Thornton should have stepped up and shot more? That doesn't fit with his game. Combined, Green and Thornton canned 13 of 21 shots and the other fellows were 7 of 30.

-- Sophomore point guard Keith Appling had been playing with such consistency, he was easy to take for granted, but he played like an inexperieced youngster in Bloomington. Meanwhile, Brandon Wood was so rattled during his scoreless effort that he air-balled a free throw late in the second half, and in the middle, Adreian Payne was so far off of his game that Coach Tom Izzo played him for only 10 minutes. We must remember that these young men, even when they try to show swagger, can get nervous.

-- Indiana played a good game, but it's not like the Hoosiers shot the lights out (48 percent) and they gave Michigan State an opening early in the second half, on a 10-point Spartan run that chopped into their 16-point lead.

-- MSU repeatedly pulled within six points but never got closer. The final time was 55-49 with seven minutes to play, and this was when the game turned. Indiana had a make-miss at the free throw line, but rebounded the miss, and tried a wild long jumper that also missed, but again got the rebound. This 45-second possession finally ended when Christian Worford canned a three-pointer. Suddenly it was 59-49. A red-hot Izzo called timeout and screamed at the players for not getting the rebounds, but sometimes I think this is unfair. What can you do when a long rebound bounces way out over your head?

-- Some of the sportscasters keep talking about the importance of reaping an NCAA No. 1 seed, but I really don't see any big difference between a No. 1 and a No. 2. However, it seems like almost every year a No. 3 gets upset by a No. 14 in the opening round.

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