This week the Spartans faced and handled the Fighting Illini of Illinois on Saturday and then hosted and defeated the Hoosiers of Indiana on Tuesday. Adreian Payne sat out for his fourth consecutive game and is likely to remain out of action for a couple more weeks. The good news: the Spartans are finding ways to win without him and in the process, gaining experience and deepening their bench. Michigan State remains unbeaten and in the top spot of the Big Ten conference just slightly ahead of the also undefeated in conference University of Michigan. The first half of the college basketball season is now in the books and conference play is certainly living up to its billing — every game, home or away, is turning into a contested battle. And, while the Big Ten conference continues to have five teams in the AP top-25, three of them are currently in the top ten (#3 Michigan State, #9 Wisconsin, and #10 Iowa). Following a week of numerous upsets, the list of undefeated teams has dropped to three (Arizona, Syracuse, and Wichita State). Next up for the Spartans: their in-state rival: the Wolverines of the University of Michigan then the Hawkeyes of Iowa. A successful week could put any of these three teams in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten Conference. Go Green!
The upsets among the top-25 this week included:
Wisconsin (#3) losing to unranked Michigan.
Villanova (#4) losing to unranked Creighton.
Iowa State (#8) losing to unranked Texas.
Oklahoma State (#9) losing to Kansas (#15) by two (2) points.
Wisconsin (#9) losing to unranked Minnesota.
Iowa (#10) losing to Michigan (#21).
Ohio State (#11) losing to unranked Minnesota.
Baylor (#12) losing to Oklahoma (#25) by two (2) points.
Massachusetts (#13) losing to unranked Richmond by three (3) points.
Memphis (#17) losing to unranked Connecticut.
Ohio State (#17) losing to unranked Nebraska.
Creighton (#20) losing to unranked Providence.
Colorado (#21) losing to UCLA (#25).
Kansas State (#22) losing to unranked Texas by three (3) points.
UCLA (#25) losing to unranked Utah.
The close calls (wins by six points or less [two scores]) among the top-25 this week included:
Syracuse (#2) defeating Pittsburgh (#22) by five (5) points.
Michigan State (#3) defeating unranked Indiana by five (5) points.
Saint Louis (#19) defeating unranked Duquesne by four (4) points.
The losses to higher-ranked teams among the top-25 this week included:
Pittsburgh (#22) losing to Syracuse (#2).
Baylor (#24) losing to Kansas (#8).