The Michigan State Spartans were on top of the college basketball world boasting the No. 1 ranking and a first seed come tournament time, but that must seem like an eternity ago now for a Michigan State program that has dropped four of its last six games. Michigan State started the season 18-1 and asserted its dominance in cyborg-like fashion in the early going, but injuries have all but decimated what could have been one of the best teams we have seen in a long time. Even though Michigan State is still firmly in the tournament field with an overall record of 22-7, the Spartans fall off the proverbial cliff could not have come at a worse time as the regular season winds down and the NCAA tournament is just around the corner.
The Spartans’ headaches continued Saturday when the eighteenth ranked Spartans fell to an unranked Illinois Fighting Illini squad, 53-46. Gary Harris‘ 19 point, five rebound and four assist performance proved to be in vain as the Spartans fell at home to a significant underdog. While Michigan State had a solid defensive outing, it was the offensive that let the team down when the Spartans only managed to score 18 points in the whole second half.
The Spartans’ fall from grace is one of the biggest collapses in recent memory, but with all the talent and potential could the Spartans still realistically make a run at a title?
Michigan State is stylistically built for the tournament, but the team’s recent struggles appear to be insurmountable as team chemistry is lacking and confidence is low. A team can not just flip a switch and play like champions, but Tom Izzo will press every button possible as he tries to lead the Spartans from the outhouse to the penthouse.
Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.