Tom Izzo felt his Michigan State squad put together its best performance in three years.
And their play forced Michigan to suffer through one of its worst performances in sometime.
That all led to the No. 8 Spartans posting a dominant 75-52 victory over the No. 4 Wolverines in the first meeting between the schools as top 10 teams.
“Keep it in perspective that we probably played our best game in three years and they probably played one of their worst,” Izzo said. “They missed shots and things just didn’t fall for them.
“It was like a perfect storm. We played about as well as we can play and they did not play as well. They are a much better team and I’m not sure we are as good as we played but I’ll take it.”
MSU had plenty of success on the defensive end, limiting Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III to a combined four points. U-M committed a season-high 16 turnovers and shot just 39.6 percent.
“They were very good,” Michigan coach John Beilein said of the Spartans. “We couldn’t get anywhere we wanted to get to. When we did have open looks, we didn’t make them. I said that before the game that we had to do that.”
The Spartans also limited their turnovers (just eight) and made seven 3-pointers behind Gary Harris, who was 5-of-9 from behind the arc.
The rematch is at 4 p.m. March 3 at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. If MSU keeps playing like it has the past two games, it could be close to wrapping up a Big Ten title at that point.
Big tests still remain for MSU, starting with next Tuesday’s showdown with Indiana. There also is a trip to Ohio State looming. But tonight’s outcome indicates that the ceiling is very high for MSU.