Michigan State hasn't had the basketball season anyone predicted.
If the Spartans don't put together a run, beginning with Purdue tonight, it could be the end of a historic 22 years appearing in the NCAA Tournament.
It's hard to find a path towards victory for MSU, considering the Boilermakers comeback win against Michigan State in January kicked off a four-game winning streak (for Purdue) and sent the Spartans' spiraling.
Since that brutal ending, MSU experienced a long layoff due to COVID-19 issues within their program, postponed multiple games, lost four contests in a row for the first time since 2007, and experienced the worst home loss in Tom Izzo's 26 seasons as head coach.
It's a tall task, but can Izzo and Michigan State put it all together to make the big dance?
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It's Game Day!
Spartans Warming Up
Media Timeout: MSU 6 Purdue 6
16:00 left in the first half.
MSU not double-teaming Trevion Williams so far, meaning they won't get beat by the 3-pointer like last time out against Iowa. AJ Hoggard with four points early and driving.
Media Timeout: Purdue 12 MSU 9
9:51 left in the first half.
The Spartans experienced a five minute scoring drought, and Gabe Brown, one of the few players who played well vs. Iowa, is 1-for-6 tonight. As a team MSU is shooting 29% from the field (4-for-14).
Media Timeout: Purdue 14 MSU 10
7:31 left in the first half.
Michigan State has made one shot in the last nine minutes, surprisingly Purdue hasn't taken advantage and hold onto a slim four-point lead.
MSU and the Boilermakers are a combined 1-for-11 from three point range and 1-for-5 at the free-throw line.
Media Timeout: Purdue 24 MSU 23
1:42 left in the first half.
Michigan State's offense coming to life; back-to-back 3-pointers from Joey Hauser gave them the lead, but a defensive lapse results in an easy layup. Rocket Watts also providing some energy, despite not feeling well.
Media Timeout: Purdue 39 MSU 36
14:50 left in the second half.
The Spartans are down by three, much like they were at halftime, and are making Williams work in the paint. Thirty-two of Purdue's 39 points have come from down low.
Media Timeout: Purdue 45 MSU 42
11:54 left in the second half.
The fouls are starting to pile up at Mackey Arena, both sides have multiple players in foul trouble.
Media Timeout: Purdue 57 MSU 50
7:37 left in the second half.
Purdue is looking to take control with back-to-back three pointers as they go up seven with less than eight minutes remaining.
Media Timeout: Purdue 61 MSU 56
3:57 left in the second half.
Trevion Williams is heating up, even with three fouls the big man has hit 11-of-19 shots for 22 points and five rebounds. The star center is attempting to put MSU away, the Spartans need a response.
MSU Timeout: Purdue 70 MSU 63
52 seconds left in the second half.
Tom Izzo calls a timeout with under a minute left. The Spartans trail by seven, and desperately need a bucket.
Final: Purdue 75 MSU 65