The Breslin Center’s Izzone said it best: "Just like football!"
It wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but with their Rose Bowl-winning compatriots in the crowd, there was no way that No. 5 Michigan State was going to fold to No. 3 Ohio State.
It was only appropriate that the basketball team had to overcome its own adversity to defeat the Buckeyes a month to the day after the football team did so in the Big Ten championship game.
The formerly undefeated Buckeyes (15-1, 2-1) came back from a 17-point deficit to tie the Spartans (14-1, 3-0) at 58 at the end of regulation and force overtime.
Give us credit, we found a way to win
But senior point guard Keith Appling and senior center Adreian Payne fought through cramping (Appling) and a foot injury (Payne) to lead the Spartans to a 72-68 victory.
"Keith was so hurt, he was cramping up so bad," MSU coach Tom Izzo told ESPN on the floor after the game. "Without (Travis) Trice we just didn’t have the bodies. Adreian Payne, give him credit. He played like a man."
Both hit key three-pointers in overtime, Appling’s coming with 34 seconds left, breaking a 66-66 tie.
Appling also made three of his last four free throws and snagged a key rebound after Ohio State’s Marc Loving missed a three with five seconds left.
"That’s the point guard’s job," Appling told the Big Ten Network. "The simple fact that I’m a senior on this team and I’ve been here the longest and been through the most, of course I should be the leader out there."