Winners: Michigan State Spartans
Entering Saturday at just 4-5 (0-2), the Spartans badly needed a win to start moving the needle in the right direction with hopes of saving their season.
The basketball gods delivered, as Tom Izzo’s club walloped Baylor 88-64 in Detroit, leading the Bears by nearly 30 points at halftime.
The Spartans have gotten off to notoriously bad starts this season -- the downfall to their slumping start -- such as double-digit halftime deficits to Duke and Arizona while falling behind to Wisconsin early as well.
This weekend was not the case for Sparty, who jumped to an early 22-7 lead and never looked back behind 25 points from Tyson Walker.
The jury is still out on the Spartans as they still need to compile quality wins together as they stand at just 5-5 on the season. Fortunately, the Spartans get three home games to close out the non-conference portion of the season with Oakland, Stony Brook and Indiana State -- one of the biggest mid-major surprises this year.
Losers: USC Trojans
The struggles continue for Andy Enfield’s Trojans, who now stand at just 5-5 on the year following a 91-75 loss to Auburn this Sunday after starting the season with high expectations.
The Trojans have struggled mightily defensively, giving up 89 points to Gonzaga, 44 points in the second half to Long Beach State and 91 points to Auburn in their past three games.
With three straight road games on the docket -- at Alabama State (PAC-12/SWAC Legacy Series), at Oregon, at Oregon State -- the Trojans need to start finding answers quickly, or the chance for an NCAA Tournament bid will become increasingly unlikely.