Four games into the season, I was expecting Michigan State basketball to be, at best, 2-2 overall with a couple of losses to a combination of Villanova, Kentucky, and Gonzaga.
Tom Izzo even admitted before the season that the Spartans could be 1-3 to start the year and no one would be all that surprised. Fans would have their typical meltdowns even if the Spartans were playing well, and the Hall of Fame coach was well aware of that possibility given the absolute gauntlet facing his team through four games.
Well, fast forward through the first four games — including that three-game gauntlet after Northern Arizona — and Michigan State sits at 3-1.
Still unranked (that will change on Monday), Michigan State looks like one of the best teams in college basketball.
Michigan State basketball already exceeding expectations
Unlike the football team, Michigan State basketball is exceeding expectations. No one gave the Spartans much of a chance to contend in the Big Ten this year with just 10 scholarship players, but this tight-knit group is sitting at 3-1 and just passed the early-season gauntlet test with flying colors.
The Spartans lost by a single point to Gonzaga after leading by 12, beat Kentucky in double-overtime, and then beat a really tough Villanova team by two after leading by 16.
Michigan State will undoubtedly be ranked on Monday afternoon and you have to consider this 3-1 record just a massive success to start the year when most figured it would be more like 1-3.
Izzo is a Hall of Famer for a reason.