The month of March is when Tom Izzo and company are at their best, but Michigan State has to actually get there for any of that to matter. We could list the Spartans’ accomplishments under Izzo, even in recent years, but this team is all that counts and they’ve certainly had their share of struggles.
Preseason Top 5 rankings were quickly torn up after a home loss to James Madison on opening night. The Spartans would add losses to Duke and Arizona, with their nonconference resume largely built on a 24-point win against Baylor back on December 16th. Wildly enough, a late December win against Indiana State also stands as a Quad 1 win right now.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, they’ve lost every Quad 1 game in Big Ten play. They’ve already been swept by Wisconsin, losing both games by double-digits, and lost on the road against Illinois, Nebraska, and Northwestern. Their best performance in league play was just over a week ago when they won at Maryland for their only road win of the season. Sitting 4-5 against this conference was not what Izzo expected.
Though they stand just 2-7 against Quad 1 foes, the James Madison loss was no anchor and the resume is actually in decent shape regardless. The Spartans haven’t had a truly bad loss, though they clearly need to find a way to win more games outside of East Lansing in conference play. A month from now their resume will not slide if it still only includes one Quad 1 victory, though opportunities may be scarce in this edition of the Big Ten.