Michigan State was a six point favorite over Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament quarter-finals on Friday and the Spartans won 64-56. It was not an overwhelmingly dominant performance according to MSU coach Tom Izzo, but a win is a win at this time of year. The loss probably cost Minnesota a berth in the NCAA tournament. MSU beat the Gophers three for three this season.
The Spartans struggled early and only led 33-30 at halftime. Chris Allen gave them some perimeter shooting which they are going to need because I think this team needs more offense next week, let alone the remainder of this weekend.
You get the feeling Izzo wants his team to show a greater sense of urgency for improved play. The weekend will be tougher in the semi-finals and finals and I stand by what I have felt for awhile-- Sunday night's NCAA tournament seeding isn't nearly as important as where the Spartans are sent.
The Big Ten has taken some hits from the national analysts and so have the Spartans and they'll get ample time to prove those critics either right or wrong.