Tom Izzo previews Michigan State's upcoming two-game series vs. No. 2 Michigan
Michigan State hasn’t had much time to enjoy wins during this final stretch. Playing their final six games in a span of 13 days has forced Tom Izzo’s team to the turn the page after each game, regardless of outcome.
So it didn’t take long for Izzo to start talking about the Spartans’ upcoming home-and-home series against in-state rival and No. 2 ranked Michigan later this week, even after a 64-58 win over Indiana on Tuesday. In two days, MSU makes the trip to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines.
“There’ll be no excuses, no matter what we do. We’re playing, you can say one of the best teams in the B1G, but we’re playing one of the best teams in the country,” Izzo said after the game. “I’ll talk about it tomorrow but I think they’ve done a hell of a job. Those guys have grown. They’ve got a hell of a center and get a transfer point guard that’s been dynamite.
“But don’t think the meat and potatoes of that team isn’t [Isaiah] Livers and those wings. I mean, [Eli] Brooks, he’s been a warrior for four years. He’s been through it all.”
Michigan didn’t have its best performance on the season Tuesday night, far from it. The Wolverines dropped a 76-53 game to Illinois at home. Hoping to still secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, Michigan is going to come out swinging against Michigan State.
“Yeah, we’re gonna do everything we can to get ready for them and the energy and the emotion of the game will help you for a little while, but we got our work cut out making sure we do a better job. I’ve gotta do a much better job,” Izzo said. “We’ve gotta sub a little bit better. Somehow, someway, no matter what and see if we can have enough energy down the stretch.”
Michigan State is now one of the Last Four In according to ESPN college basketball expert Joe Lunardi. A win over Michigan would certainly boost the Spartans’ resume.
After Thursday’s game in Ann Arbor, the two teams will meet back in East Lansing on Sunday to close out the regular season.