BLOOMINGTON, Ind – Michigan State is coming to Indiana twice next week and they are going to show up bruised and bloodied. The Spartans got beaten up in a bad way on Saturday, losing at home 88-58 to No. 15 Iowa.
It was the worst loss in the Tom Izzo era at Michigan State, which goes back 26 years, and the second-worst home loss in school history only to Indiana’s 52-point win in 1975. Michigan State plays at Purdue on Tuesday and at Indiana on Saturday.
“I’m embarrassed,” Izzo said. “Today was an ambush, but it’s one game. It’s not good, but it’s not indicative of how we’ve played … No excuses. Blame should go on me, solely on me, and not them.”
The Spartans’ game plan was to attempt to slow down Iowa All-American center Luka Garza and they double- and triple-teamed him the entire game. That worked – Garza had only 8 points, breaking a 44-game streak in double figures – but Iowa’s three-point shooters were all hot.
Iowa made 13-of-25 three-point attempts, with Joe Wieskamp (5-for-7) and Connor McCaffery (4-for-6) doing most of the damage. It was a huge win for the Hawkeyes (15-6, 9-5 in the Big Ten), who wrapped up a perfect week with wins over Rutgers and Michigan State after losing four of five games.
Michigan State (10-8, 4-8 in the Big Ten) has made the NCAA Tournament 24 years in a row, but the Spartans are going to need a big finish to make it now. The Spartans shot 31 percent (11-for-35) from the field and 2-for-11 from beyond the arc. They’ll need to do better.
“We know what our goal is and what we have to do,” Izzo said.
Michigan finally back in action on Sunday
It’s been 21 days since Michigan has played a basketball game and Wolverines coach Juwan Howard is over it.
The Wolverines (13-1, 8-1 in the Big Ten) are set to return against Wisconsin (15-6, 9-5 in the Big Ten) on Sunday and it’s very clear that Howard and his guys are beyond ready to hit the hardwood after the state health department forced Michigan to shut down its entire athletic department for two weeks because of COVID-19 concerns.
“It was beautiful this past Sunday when we first had an opportunity get back together and have a workout,” Howard said. “It was like having my first day at school. You have a pause throughout the summer and you’re looking forward to seeing some of your old friends and new classmates and you’re excited about putting on your fresh new clothes and your fresh pair of sneakers. That’s how I compared it to our first day [back at] practice. We all were excited like it was the first day of school.
“Our guys will continue to work each and every day to improve. We trust this staff that come Sunday we’ll be ready to play. I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but from start to finish, we’re gonna give our best effort.”
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- HOW TO WATCH: No. 3 Michigan at No. 21 Wisconsin, 1 p.m. ET. (TV: CBS). Wisconsin is a 1-point favorite on the DraftKings.com website as of 11 a.m. ET