No. 9 Spartans Suffer Second Straight Loss, Michigan Wins Thriller 60-59

Dan Vasta@CI_StatsGuruSenior Writer IIIJanuary 18, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after making a three-pointer in the second half while taking on the Duke Blue Devils during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Despite leading by as many as 11 points in the first half, No. 19 Michigan trailed ninth ranked Michigan State by three points with under four minutes to go.

However, the amount of turnovers were insurmountable as the Michigan State Spartans fell 60-59 to their hated rivals. 

It was the fabulous play from Michigan point guard Trey Burke and he led the way as he went for 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. 

The story of the game was clearly the pressure that the Wolverines put on Sparty as they forced 14 turnovers and Michigan State was never in rhythm at any point during the night.

Draymond Green battled foul trouble for most of the night as he ended up with a season-low seven points on 3-of-8 shooting.

The backcourt that had been so good for Tom Izzo's squad was solid, but Brandon Wood had just four points (1-of-6) in the losing effort.

The funny part of this game was the Spartans' ability to dominate the Wolverines on the boards (9-1 in favor of MSU offensive glass) and yet they still came up short.

Tim Hardaway Jr is known as the star and leader of this Wolverines squad, but he went 3-of-9 (0-of-4 from distance) for just 10 points. Zach Novak and Stu Douglass were solid combing for 19 points.

Michigan does not have the deepest bench (only played three off it) but the way they can play defense is something Jim Beilein always stresses to his team.

In terms of seeding for March, this certainly has a decent impact at the moment since Sparty has now lost two straight games.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi had Michigan (15-4, 5-2) and Michigan State (15-4, 4-2) actually in the same bracket. Michigan was pegged as a No. 5 seed whereas MSU is a No. 3 seed in this week's edition.

The Wolverines travel to Fayetteville to face the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday as Michigan State will stay in conference at home against Purdue.

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