Did I make a mistake by agreeing to write about Michigan State basketball?
Woof. What a way to start a new blogging gig. It’s like walking into your first class and the professor wants you to write a five-page paper on how you felt when your dog died. Why would I voluntarily take precious time out of my day to rehash memories that make me want to curl up on the couch with a beer (or 12) and take the rest of the week off? I do it because I love Michigan State University. I love MSU football. I love Michigan State basketball.
They’ve broken my heart 1,000 times and they’ll break it 1000 more. Jack Twist wished he knew how to quit Ennis Del Mar, but I’ll never quit the Spartans.
Let’s work through this together with the five steps of grief.
Denial that Michigan State basketball really just blew a 10-point lead with 40 seconds to go.
Anger at (insert multiple player/coach/referee names here).
Bargaining. If we had just fouled while up three, made one more free throw, not turned the ball over, officials were competent, etc.
And depression. A lot of us are here. There’s a lot of “fire Izzo” and “this team will never live this down.” This loss was the last thing I thought about Saturday night and the first thing I thought of when I woke up Sunday.
As a healthy Michigan State basketball fan, I’ve reached acceptance
But I think I’ve found acceptance in this loss. I’ll think about this a little bit less every day until one day, one of you will say “my kid had a bigger meltdown than that 2023 Iowa game,” and I’ll think, “oh man, I forgot about that one.”
So much good has come out of the first 38 minutes of this game and it is understandably overshadowed by the final result. Statistically, it was the greatest three-point shooting game for Michigan State basketball in the history of time. Somehow Hauser (4-for-4), Akins (4-for-4) and Walker (2-for-3) shot an outstanding 266 percent from the field (My degree is in English, not math). The team made 10 percent more of their free throws by average, and maybe — just maybe — this will make the Big Ten take a good hard look at their state of officiating.
This result could have been so much worse. Hear me out. Would you rather lose a lead like this on the road to Iowa during the regular season or A) lose like this in the NCAA tournament or B) lose like this to Michigan. Holy God, if we had lost a game like this to Michigan, my heart wouldn’t be able to take it and just quit on me as soon as the clock hit 0:00. So in this case, it could have been so much better, but it also could have been worse.
I think the game against Nebraska will tell us all how the rest of the season goes. If they come out deflated, then it’s the same old “make the tourney and out the first weekend.” If the hot shooting continues, and our bigs snap into a groove, then who knows where this team could end up.
*Spoiler alert: I heard Houston is nice at the beginning of April.*