Being ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2001 is just one of multiple rays of positive light being shed on Michigan State basketball.
The Spartans (4-0) also have a win over Kentucky, which was No. 1 in the nation before falling 78-74 to the Spartans in Chicago on Nov. 12.
Adreian Payne and Keith Appling appear to be in mid-season form—Appling has topped 20 points twice and Payne is on a career pace.
Though they've only played four games, the Spartans have demonstrated tournament strength in the month of November.
As usual, Big Ten play will be the true test. However, before that happens, Michigan State has to get past the likes of March-worthy programs such as Virginia Tech and North Carolina.
This slideshow will highlight five of the most interesting angles from Michigan State's quick jump in 2013-14.