Michigan has the best player in the country, but Keith Appling will settle for being the best player on the best team in Michigan. Michigan’s Trey Burke was the leading scorer in the game again with 18, but he had little help as Gary Harris (17 points) and Derrick Nix (14 points) led the Spartans to 75-52 laugher.
Appling received a huge ovation for his defense, setting up teammates and scrapping for eight rebounds from his guard position. He only turned the ball over once, and his 11 points were just a bonus.
Michigan State is No. 1 in the Big Ten, and No. 1 in the state of Michigan. A double digit win at home is as impressive as a win on the road, so No. 8 Michigan State’s win over No. 4 Michigan should have the Spartans focused on another 1-seed.
It was Michigan’s third loss in the last four games, but all three of their losses so far had been by a combined 14 points. The 23-point loss dropped them to 21-4 overall, and 8-4 in the very tough Big Ten, two games behind Michigan State (21-4, 10-2) and No. 1 Indiana.
Even Tim Hardaway could not give Burke any help, as he went one of 11 on a lone second half layup, as Michigan never led.