I knew there was no way this Michigan-MSU clash, despite both teams squaring off ranked in the Top 10 for the first time in the rivalry's 170 meetings, could compete with what I saw in South Bend.
In terms of excitement that proved to be correct. In terms of a national championship-type defensive performance it couldn't have been more wrong.
The Spartans played what Tom Izzo called their best game in three years and made the Wolverines look like an early-December nonconference foe. I was shocked at how uncomfortable MSU made Michigan look on offense. Heck, the more careful team in the country in terms of turnovers (9.3 per game) had 16 giveaways on the night. On the other hand, Michigan, which wasn't exactly known as a defensively dominant team but was still serviceable, looked incapable of guarding anyone near the paint. It left most Michigan fans in attendance speechless.
FINAL SCORE: Michigan State 75, Michigan 52
Here is the defensive score sheet from the game for both teams:
The Spartans posted their best defensive efficiency mark in Big Ten play (78.9) while the Wolverines posted what is believe to be their worst (113.5). Heck, if only the MSU reserves (we're talking about you, Bella Sibedwo) would have played some defense down the stretch - Michigan finished the game on a 9-1 run against MSU backups - the overall numbers might have been that much more impressive.
Previous 2012-13 Spartan Defensive Score Sheets