The Michigan State Spartans are in first place in the Big Ten once again and this time, they hope to stay there for good. The Spartans and Tom Izzo are sitting at 9-2 in conference play and 20-4 overall after a win tonight at Purdue.
The Spartans are on the verge of making history under coach Izzo this season. This is the second-best start through 24 games in Izzo’s tenure and they will hope to improve on that mark as they go back home to take on the hated Michigan Wolverines in a Tuesday night brawl.
Four of Izzo’s teams have started 20-4 since he has been head coach in East Lansing and three of those teams have made the Final Four– a promising statistic for an otherwise young squad.
Michigan State is the No. 12 team in the land and will likely rise into the top-10 on Monday after a 2-0 week in which they beat Minnesota and Purdue.
Amidst all of the injuries that the Spartans have had to overcome this season, the banged up green and white look to take full control of the conference race. Travis Trice has been out for over a week with a concussion, Branden Dawson has had a sore ankle, Gary Harris is suffering back spasms, Adriean Payne had a couple bloody noses and Keith Appling suffered a dislocated shoulder.
That set the Spartans back a bit with their normally eight-deep lineup. Izzo and the Spartans have had to stretch the linup lately as freshman Matt Costello and sophomore Russell Byrd and Alex Gauna have picked up some extra playing time lately.
Banged up or not, this team is bound for a deep tourney run and one of Izzo’s best teams ever– crazy thought.