The No. 1 Michigan State Spartans are 5-0 after defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies 96-77. The win wasn’t very impressive with the Hokies were picked to finish last in the ACC by the media in the preseason poll.
Adreian Payne scored 29 points for the Spartans and four starters scored ten or more points. This is the type of win over a weaker team that Michigan State needs to continue to have in an effort to secure their position at the top of the national rankings.
Michigan State’s next tough opponents are in two games when the Spartans take on a No. 24 North Carolina Tar Heels team still reeling from a loss to the Belmont Bruins. The Spartans must crush the Tar Heels like they did the Hokies because North Carolina will want to pull off a major upset against the No. 1 team in the country in order to quiet the naysayers who think that they shouldn’t be ranked.
The Spartans have an extremely difficult schedule, but until their game with the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes they shouldn’t be tested. Michigan State will remain No. 1 if they stay focused and don’t let one slip to a wounded team like North Carolina.
The win over Virginia Tech isn’t one that Michigan State will look on as motivation to do well in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but they are winning the games that they are supposed to. If the Spartans can keep up their recent form, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament will definitely be possible and probably even likely.