Michigan State Spartans Save Best Performance of the Year for Bo Ryan and the Badgers Winning 69-55

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Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

Earlier this week on Spartan Nation Radio I made this statement, “The thing about the Spartans is that they have yet to play their best game.” Can’t say that anymore. The Spartans played phenomenal defense that showed the nation that they can play with anyone as they systematically shut down the Wisconsin Badgers tonight.

You can start with the MSU defense. The held the Badgers to 34% shooting and an anemic 20% from three. There wasn’t one star on D, the entire team played well. Tom Izzo said of the MSU performance, “I could talk about a lot of positive things that is for sure. We didn’t turn the ball over or foul too much. That was our two keys to the game. The crowd was awesome. Crowd, players everyone did their job.”

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said of the Spartans play tonight, “We weren’t set defensively. They got some stuff around the basket and I thought we could have got our hands on. We were playing from behind and had to extend it. MSU is much more athletic from that way.” 

Draymond Green as always was amazing. He had 20 points on 10 boards along with five assists and one steal. This one man wrecking crew owned the Badgers. Izzo said of his play, “I thought Day Day was just another day at the office for him. There are two people that don’t overlook him: Me and my staff and my team. As long as those two don’t (overlook him) we are O.K.”.

Ryan added on the performance of Day Day, “He’s a good player, we don’t characterize players. He’s a good player, strong. Draymond is a guy you would like to have.”

Day Day said of the kind words of Ryan, “Anytime a great coach says something like that it means a lot. That is a very kind thing for someone like him to say about me. At the same time the credit goes to my teammates because without them I couldn’t do this.”

Day Day’s teammates were quick to praise their leader. Keith Appling said, “He’s our leader every night. What he does every night is amazing. We know he is going to get at least ten rebounds, not matter what and get his shots.”

Derrick Nix said of the captain, “Day Day is just Day Day. He just going to go out and get you a double double every game.”

Keith Appling had a great game. He had struggled of late, but he had great defense to go along with 20 points and four steals.

Izzo and Ryan had a lengthy talk after the game and Ryan said, “ I told him that he has done a good job with this team. Why wouldn’t I, it’s the truth.”

Travis Trice was in a boot and in street clothes for tonight’s game.

I Tweeted during the game (@HondoCarpenter) that when MSU plays the way they did they can beat anyone in the nation. Tom Izzo agreed with me when I asked him about my thought. He added, “You’re right, but there is no one that can’t compete with us.”

According to MSU SID Matt Larson the Spartans are on the ONLY team in the nation to have six or more wins against ranked teams this season.

The Spartans play next on Sunday in West Lafayette, IN against Purdue. That game is scheduled for a 1 PM tip and will air on CBS.