3 reasons Michigan State basketball still Big Ten favorite without Xavier Tillman

Rocket Watts, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Rocket Watts, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State basketball
Tom Izzo, Michigan State basketball (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /

1. Tom Izzo has excelled in this situation before

Three straight Big Ten titles have boosted expectations and even when Michigan State loses all-conference and All-American players, people assume the Spartans will contend.

Why is that? Tom Izzo.

The head coach is a Hall of Famer for a reason and it’s because he knows how to get the most out of his guys and even in years when he loses a ton of talent, he finds a way to contend.

Needs an example? All you have to do is go back and look at the 2018-19 season. Michigan State had just lost two lottery picks in Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. and then Josh Langford was injured halfway through the year. The Spartans still wound up having a huge season and made a run to the Final Four with three All-Big Ten candidates gone.

Gone are Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman which aren’t quite lottery-level talents, but they were as impactful on the program as Bridges and Jackson Jr., if not more so.

Michigan State brings back a ton of talent and depth so the Hall of Famer will have pieces to work with and he’ll have the Spartans as favorites yet again.

A fourth Big Ten title is not out of the question. It’s almost expected.

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