Michigan State basketball: Is it OK to blame officiating for Purdue loss?

Michigan State basketball blew a 17-point lead against Purdue, a team that has given them trouble. Who is to blame for one of Izzo’s worst losses ever?

An easy place to start is by addressing the Michigan State fans who think they’re morally superior to others because they refuse to blame the referees. I actually agree with all of you — Michigan State blowing a huge first half lead is Tom Izzo’s fault. There’s no way around it and he’ll admit that himself.

Where most of those fans are wrong is very simple — there isn’t one single reason for a 17-point blown lead. If Izzo does a good enough job coaching, we aren’t having this conversation, we’re celebrating a good win despite bad officiating. If the officials do their jobs correctly, we’re also celebrating a good win for the Spartans. It’s not so black and white.

And while it’s totally logical to put this loss on Izzo, you’re lying to everybody if you spew nonsense about how the officials were not to blame for a loss. We knew this would be a frustrating game when Bo Boroski, a guy who is unanimously one of the worst referees in American sports, was on the roster of officials.

Quite a few Michigan State basketball games have some sort of poor officiating, but usually it goes both ways, so we can’t really complain about it.

In my 23 years on this earth, I could count every sporting event that I’ve seen with more lopsided officiating than this game on a single hand. From ghost travel calls to blocking fouls where Michigan State defenders literally jumped out of the way, these officials looked like they were out to get the Spartans. Most notably, they missed a textbook over-the-back call at the end of the game after calling a no-contact shooting foul that resulted in missed free throws.

I’m not saying the officials blew a 17-point lead, I’m saying they lost Michigan State the basketball game. If you believe that the officiating was even the slightest bit in favor of Purdue, you must believe that the referees allowed Purdue points that they should not have scored. Even if they made a single bad call on a shooting foul, this game swings in the Spartans’ favor.

Again, I’m not here to say that the officials blew a huge lead, I’m here to say that the officials made the difference between a Michigan State basketball win and loss. Don’t be the guy who acts like he’s better than everyone because he won’t blame the refs. All that does is keep a guy who is unfit for his job in the same position, screwing over other teams in the future.

I believe that Michigan State was the better team today, but this team has a lot of work to do. In all likelihood, we will get destroyed by Iowa and left to search for an identity for the rest of the season. Buckle down folks, this loss may have been painful, but it’ll only get worse from here.