Tom Izzo talked Thursday about all his team still has at stake — Big Ten title included.
Tuesday’s home loss to Indiana obviously made the league championship a bit harder to attain and, to some degree, out of Michigan State’s control.
The bottom line for MSU is this: It’ll almost certainly have to win out to grab a share of the Big Ten crown and someone has to beat Indiana.
Until a few weeks ago, the Hoosiers’ late-season Big Ten slate looked like it might have two nasty bumps beyond the Spartans — at Minnesota next Tuesday and then March 10 at Michigan.
If you’ve seen the Gophers play lately — they lost by 21 at Iowa and 26 at Ohio State last week — IU looks in decent shape heading into Williams Arena.
So that leaves Michigan, in Ann Arbor, on the last day of the regular season as Indiana’s most realistic chance at a loss.
Meanwhile, MSU would need to win out, including this Sunday at Ohio State and March 3 at Michigan.
If there’s hope for MSU, on its end at least, it’s in how the Spartans matched up with the Wolverines and Buckeyes the first time around, and the hope that the advantages that existed at home will still be difference-makers on the road.
The question is, if you tie a team for the Big Ten title but lose to them both times, does it truly feel like a championship?