Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

College basketball roundup: No. 4 Spartans win in overtime

College basketball roundup: No. 4 Spartans win in overtime

By the time everything was said and done, however, that quick shot for Matthews proved to be nothing as it was the Wolverines who proved to be the tougher team, knocking off No. 4 Michigan State, 82-72, at Breslin Center.

While Michigan State suffered a fall, hard-charging Villanova re-emerged as the No. 1 team in the nation and supported that position with an 89-65 blowout of Xavier Wednesday night.

On the other side of things, MI also enters off a loss but it was an encouraging one: A one-point defeat against No. 5 Purdue in a game in which the Wolverines played well enough to win. There should be no questions about the team's motivation Saturday - this was the only scheduled meeting between the Spartans (16-3, 4-2 Big Ten) and MI this season - and that makes the loss even more alarming. The Spartans, who shot 36.4 percent during the second half, couldn't muster a comeback. The Spartans lost the turnover battle, 17-7 resulting in a 25-7 point differential caused by turnovers.

"If I played better, it could have been a different outcome", Sanders said "I am ready and anxious to go out there and play a ranked team, especially the No.4 team". MI had lost five straight to the Spartans before winning by 29 points in their last meeting, and MSU looks vulnerable even though it's 11-0 at home. "Maybe everybody got a little fat and sassy, as far as they think it's going to be that way".

"He really did a great job today", said Beilein. What makes him special is his ability to impact every aspect of the game. He committed two turnovers and two fouls in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the half and was taken out of the game.

So, it's a ideal time for us to debut a new weekly feature, where we give you the low down on the games you should care about the most from Thursday through Sunday across the Big Ten. Ward and Jaren Jackson Jr. were given a touch nearly every possession as the Spartans targeted Wagner and Duncan Robinson, forcing them to defend or foul.

Bridges' best friend, point guard Tum Tum Nairn, is also putting pressure on his teammate. Ward finished with just three points on 0-for-1 shooting in that game. You can bet they are hungry to get that loss back against a quality opponent like MSU. Starting sophomore guard Joshua Langford had six points. They went into their home game against Michigan State on Thursday with a 62-3 record in Big Ten play since joining the league. Winston finished with just two assists while also turning the ball over three times.

Defense fueled an 8-0 Wolverines run early in the second half that put them on top 42-39. Someone is going to look like they are heading in the right direction and the loser looks like they are back to struggling.

It's a simple formula, but one Michigan State will need to get figured out quickly. Michigan's lead reached double-digits for the first time with just over a minute left and got as low as eight points the rest of the way.

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