It almost happened.
Michigan State nearly pulled off the upset victory against Iowa Tuesday night and had a Joshua Langford jumper gone in with 23 seconds left to tie it; who knows what might have been.
"It's tough man, it's tough," Langford said following the loss.
It wasn't the desired outcome, but there were many positives, including the shooting, post play, and most importantly, the response, which was equally as important as the end result.
Either way, it's MSU's first four-game losing streak since 2007 (Jan. 27-Feb.7), but a team whose mental and physical toughness has rightfully been called into question showed an immense amount of grit.
"I was proud of them, said Spartan coach Tom Izzo. "I thought we moved the ball well; I thought we shot the ball really well early."
I'm not sure Michigan State can be the kind of offense they were in the opening minutes, but they are their most efficient when limiting turnovers and making multiple passes per possession.
Tonight, the Spartans put their competitive nature on display, and just as Iowa started pulling away, MSU chose to keep fighting and put together an 11-3 run, inching closer and closer.
Late in the game, Michigan State trailed 79-70 but wouldn't go away, scoring eight of the next nine points – all the while playing phenomenal post defense against Luka Garza.
If not for multiple Spartans being in foul trouble, they may have turned the tide much earlier in the second half.
"I thought there were some ridiculous calls," Izzo said. "I don't say that very often, but I'm going to say it."
However, unless MSU does something with their newfound motivation and will to win, Tuesday's effort means nothing.
And if you ask Izzo, it already does.
He's here to win.
"I really thought we were gonna win the game ... I told my team we were gonna win this game," he said. "Is it a turning point? No ... we're Michigan State, it's not a moral victory."
Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Want the latest breaking MSU news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Spartan Nation newsletter when you CLICK THE MAGAZINE ICON at the top left of the page or the FOLLOW button back on the main page. Don't miss any of the latest up to the second updates on Michigan State Sports when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter @McLainGrant1