EAST LANSING – When Aaron Henry is on the floor, Michigan State is a decent team more often than not.
Without him, the Spartans aren't very good, to say the least, which has been evident all season, but none more than when he picked up a flagrant one against Michigan and sat the final three minutes before halftime.
The Wolverines went on a 9-2 run to close the half, and instead of being down five or six points, MSU was down 11, and it was over a few minutes after the break.
But as the junior captain has said many times this season, you can't change the past. So, where does that leave Michigan State?
I've been a proponent of saying, MSU doesn't have to beat Michigan, but a win locks the Spartans into the tournament.
There's zero chance the committee leaves Michigan State out in the cold if they win this game. However, a win in the Big Ten Tournament also gives them a bid, and it's possible to sneak in without any more victories because teams around the bubble keep losing.
The simplest path would be to take down U-M and end the discussion now, but that's easier said than done.
It's Game Day
Media Timeout: MSU 5 Michigan 5
15:51 left in the first half.
Neither team is lighting it up offensively as MSU and Michigan are a combined 4-of-17 from the field.
Media Timeout: MSU 12 Michigan 9
11:58 left in the first half.
Watts is heading to the charity stripe after Hunter Dickinson fouls him on a jumper. Spartans lead by three early.
Media Timeout: MSU 15 Michigan 14
7:02 left in the first half.
Michigan State leads by one point with less than eight minutes remaining but haven't scored in 3:30.
Media Timeout: MSU 23 Michigan 21
3:39 left in the first half.
Rocket Watts and Joey Hauser playing with fire and confidence. MSU will need them down the stretch.
Media Timeout: MSU 28 Michigan 26
39 seconds left in the first half.
Hauser and Watts continuing to make an impact. Both playing extremely well. Now, MSU needs more out of Henry on offense.
Media Timeout: MSU 36 Michigan 34
16:00 left in the second half.
Media Timeout: MSU 47 Michigan 38
11:59 left in the second half.
Michigan State playing with some nice energy and its largest lead of the day after Bingham scores.
Media Timeout: MSU 50 Michigan 42
8:13 left in the second half.
Dickinson just picked up his fourth foul. I'll be curious to see how Juwan Howard handles his star big man with eight minutes left.
Media Timeout: MSU 55 Michigan 49
4:40 left in the second half.
Michigan has cut the Spartans lead to six points thanks to Wagner and some good ball movement.
Media Timeout: MSU 61 Michigan 56
1:51 left in the second half.
Final: MSU 70 Michigan 64