Entering Saturday's game against Indiana State, Michigan State basketball knew it needed to shake off some Christmas break rust and play one of its best games of the season if it was going to beat Indiana State who was 11-1 and ranked in the top 50 of the NET.
This was one of those rare home Quad 1 games in non-conference play that the Spartans would have to take advantage of, and it wouldn't be easy as the Sycamores' only loss was to Alabama and they were averaging over 88 points per game on the season with 11 wins in 12 games.
Michigan State withheld a barrage of threes from one of the best 3-point shooting teams in college basketball to pick up an 87-75 win. Heck, the Spartans only hit six of their own from deep.
That's right, Michigan State had just six threes and yet it was able to put up 87 points and beat one of the hottest offensive teams in college basketball. That's simply unheard of nowadays.
Michigan State also held a 10-point lead at halftime and then gave up the lead halfway through the second half, falling behind by five as Indiana State was hitting everything it threw up. It felt like a loss was inevitable. Heck, if this game was played a month ago, it would have resulted in another home loss to a mid-major. But this team has turned things around. This time was different.
The Spartans responded to a punch in the mouth with an eight-punch combination to the Sycamores, going on a huge run to finish the game, winning by 12.
This wasn't just your ordinary mid-major win in late-December. No, this was a Quad 1 win over a team that very well may be in the NCAA Tournament (and dangerous, too) in March.
This showed just how much MSU has grown since that 4-5 start.