Michigan State has dropped half of its last 10 games and look more discombobulated than it has at any point in the season. But this time, injuries aren't its main issue.
These Spartans have missed defensive assignments, been out-rebounded by smaller teams and lacked the heart that Tom Izzo-coached teams customarily personify on a year-to-year basis. This string of issues has most likely cost them the Big Ten title.
As they look ahead, the Spartans have three games remaining: home against Illinois and Iowa, then away at Ohio State. All three games are winnable, but State's trending inconsistency is certainly worrisome.
If they do prevail in the aforementioned games, State would end with a 14-4 conference campaign. Big Ten championship or not, that is an impressive resume considering the adversity this team has had to overcome.
Here are the keys to Michigan State winning its final three games in Big Ten play.