Michigan State Spartans Breaking Records and Winning Titles Against Nebraska
Well where to begin? It was a good week for Michigan State basketball.
The now No. 5 Michigan State Spartans clobbered the undermanned Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, 62-34. Michigan State's defense continues to dominate the opposition. The 34 points allowed are the fewest since Michigan State played Brown University when it opened up the 2006-2007 season.
It was the least amount of points allowed in Big Ten play by the Spartans since the 1999-2000 championship season when MSU played Northwestern. Finally, it was the lowest-scoring effort for Nebraska since the shot clock was invented.
Senior forward Draymond Green joined an elite group of Spartans when he grabbed the 1,000th rebound of his career. Green joins Antonio Smith, Johnny Green and Greg Kelser in the 1,000-rebound club, and has let Kelser know he is coming after his record of 1,092 rebounds.
The win over Nebraska improved Michigan State to 13-3 in Big Ten play. Coupled with the losses of Michigan against Purdue and Ohio State against Wisconsin, the Spartans have clinched a share of the Big Ten title.
Claiming at least a share this year means that the Spartans have won a Big Ten title in basketball three of the last four years. The only year the Spartans didn't win it was last year, and the football team made up for that by winning a Big Ten title of their own.
If Michigan State can win one of their final two games at Indiana or against Ohio State, they will claim the title all to themselves. The final two games however, are no easy task, with both teams looking to avenge early-season losses to the Spartans.
Against Nebraska, Green was able to collect yet another double-double, finishing the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Green leads the Big Ten in double-doubles and in rebounds. Green also shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, connecting on three of six
Transfer Brandon Wood continued his recent trend of scoring off the bench. The senior scored seven points to help boost the Spartans during dry spells and also collected four rebounds. The highlight of the night, however, belonged to center Derrick Nix.
Nix, who weighs between 260 and 275 pounds, stole the ball and had a one man fast break all to himself. The Detroit native slammed the ball with such force that it would of broken backboards in the '80s and '90s. Nix finished with five points, two steals and a career-high five assists.
Senior Austin Thornton finished second on the team in scoring with nine points. Thornton connected on three of four three-pointers.
It was good to see redshirt freshman Russell Byrd get some action. After struggling with foot injuries most of his career at MSU, the Indiana native and three-point specialist scored six points from two three-pointers. Byrd could eventually fill some of Thornton's minutes next year.
It's been a tremendous year for the Spartans as they try to lock down a No. 1 seed and Big Ten title again. The last two times the Spartans won Big Ten titles, MSU made it to the Final Four. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Spartans made it again this year with the way head coach Tom Izzo has this team playing.
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