2. The mid-winter slump
You could set your watch to the Spartans losing 4-of-6 games at the end of January and beginning of February. It’s a time where everyone starts to panic and you’ll hear phrases like “the game has passed Izzo by” and “this isn’t a classic Izzo team.”
But the mid-winter slump isn’t just expected, it’s a rite of passage.
The 2014-15 Final Four team went 3-3 including an inexplicable home loss to a middle-of-the-road Illinois team, the 2018-19 team that beat Duke to go to the Final Four lost three straight, but went on to win 10-of-11 to finish Big Ten play.
Last year’s team let the slump linger a little longer than usual, losing eight of their last 15, but went on to make the Sweet 16. The mid-winter slump has no bearing on how far the Spartans can go. In fact, I’ll be worried if they don’t lose at least three games in the last week of January and first week of February.