MINNEAPOLIS — Never is a Big Ten opener a must-win. Not in hoops, at least.
But today’s game at Minnesota is a big opportunity for Michigan State.
Here’s why: While MSU’s league schedule overall is difficult (the Spartans hit every Big Ten contender twice), the early schedule is favorable, with Purdue, Iowa, Nebraska and Penn State over the next 16 days.
Iowa on the road isn’t a gimme, but MSU should be favored in each of his next four games. If MSU gets this one today, it has a realistic shot at a 5-0 start.
Sure the schedule is middle- and back-weighted, but for this MSU team — one that’s still trying to find itself — feeling and looking like a contender early is important.
And, more tangibly, Minnesota is a place where many good Big Ten teams will lose. To have win early that others won’t get, gives you an edge.
Should be interesting. I’m still not sure this Minnesota team is for real, despite its ranking. But MSU has undoubtedly struggled against worse.
Talk to you at halftime.