The No. 5 Michigan State Spartans found themselves in a position that they weren’t used to when they took on the Minnesota Golden Gophers; the Spartans were trailing at halftime. However, a huge game from Keith Appling, who had 24 points, coupled with a huge game off of the bench from Kenny Kaminski, who had 15 points, led them to tie the game in the second half and send it to overtime. Michigan State prevailed, as they dominated in overtime and won 87-75.
The overtime win over Minnesota may have been the most important win for Michigan State all season long. Yes, the win over Minnesota is even more important than the win over the Ohio State Buckeyes, because a loss to the Buckeyes would not have hindered the Spartans’ chances to go into the 2014 NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed, where a loss to the Golden Gophers would have been devastating to those same chances.
Michigan State has every opportunity to not only go into the 2014 NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed, but become the National Champions as well. The Big 10 is one of the most difficult conferences in college basketball and provides the type of opponents that chisel a basketball team into a National Championship contender.
There are a lot of extremely tough games coming up for the Spartans that include the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers, No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini, No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes and Ohio State, again. The win over Minnesota may not seem important now, but if Michigan State fights through their difficult conference schedule to be a top seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the back-to-back overtime wins may be seen as the wake-up call that ultimately leads to their success.