The Michigan State Spartans have entered uncharted territory this season after suffering their third straight Big Ten loss.
Not only is the three-game slide a season-high for the Spartans, but it seems that their leader, Keith Appling, has become unglued at the hinges, yet again failing to deliver when he's needed most.
Appling's pedestrian nine-point, six-rebound and five-assist night was just another drop in the bucket -- he's on a decline, and it's difficult not to notice. He shot three-of-nine from the field Sunday in the Spartans' 58-57 loss to the Michigan Wolverines at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.
After smearing the Wolverines, 75-52, in East Lansing just three weeks ago, there was reason to believe that Sunday's duel would be Part 2 of the festivities. Michigan was fresh off a setback to a Penn State team that was previously winless in the Big Ten. Michigan State had back-to-back losses to Indiana and Ohio State, and appeared hungry to right its ship before the end of the regular season.
Sunday's game taught us that things aren't always as they seem in the Big Ten, a league in which any team can truly beat any foe on any given night.