Michigan State Basketball: Spartans' Blueprint to Peak Before Postseason

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Michigan State Basketball: Spartans' Blueprint to Peak Before Postseason
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Adreian Payne's Spartans didn't have enough to heave the Wolverines.

There's a flaw in the plan, and Michigan State's 79-70 loss Sunday to Michigan in Ann Arbor was proof of that. 

Thus far, Tom Izzo's Spartans (22-6, 11-4) remain in the hunt for a Big Ten title. Thus far, they look like they'll be a formidable opponent—come health and March, of course. 

Being swept by John Beilein's Wolverines showed the weaknesses of one of Izzo's most athletic teams. Jumping and running isn't the problem—pushing and shoving are, though. 

Toughen up or fall behind—that's the way Michigan State can adhere to its original plan of muscling through one of college basketball's most physically challenging leagues. 

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