Michigan State basketball: Anything worse than 3-1 finish would be disappointing

Michigan State's Tre Holloman, center, gets back on defense after a 3-pointer against Iowa during
Michigan State's Tre Holloman, center, gets back on defense after a 3-pointer against Iowa during / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Has everyone gotten over Tuesday night yet? No? Yeah, it will probably still for a while, but Michigan State basketball still has four more regular-season games to play.

The Spartans have a home date with Ohio State on Sunday before going to Purdue on March 2 and closing the season with a rematch with Northwestern at home and then a road battle with Indiana in the finale. Michigan State will be favored in three of those four games. The one underdog game is (obviously) Purdue because Michigan State hasn't won there since Gary Harris was still in town.

It's been a decade.

But outside of that Purdue game, Michigan State has three games left that should be able to add to the resume before the NCAA Tournament. Beating Ohio State, Northwestern, and Indiana should be expected and giving Purdue at least a battle would be ideal. The Boilermakers have proven to be beatable, but if you watched their win over Rutgers on Thursday night, you'd probably disagree.

Michigan State needs to burn the Iowa tape and get back to what worked in the two road games against Penn State and Michigan as well as the home win over No. 10 Illinois. That three-game winning streak had everyone riding high. And then they got complacent.

Yes, everyone is going to jump off the bandwagon after the Iowa loss, but it was the perfect storm. The team felt unbeatable after a recent hot streak, coming off an emotional win over their rival on the road, and facing an average Iowa team at home with a chance to build on a winning streak. Davis Smith even said that the vibes were off in warmups so it just felt like a disaster waiting to happen.

That cannot happen again. And it won't.

Michigan State needs to treat each game from here on out as a must-win and head into the Big Ten Tournament with a 20-11 record, finishing with a top-four seed in the conference and a double-bye. A win or two in the Big Ten Tournament will put them at 22-12 and hopefully give them a 6-7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Anything less than that to finish the season would be a massive disappointment.