Monday, February 17, 2014

At what point do we become concerned?

It's natural for a team to not bring it's "A" game all the time, but yesterday's MSU loss to Nebraska at home was shocking. And from my observation, it appears that the Spartan basketball team has lacked consistent focus for the last few weeks. But really, one could go all the way back to early in the season--with nail-biters against the likes of Columbia--and see that this team is prone to lapses in focus and energy.

Yes, I know that injuries are still an issue for MSU, and that Nebraska has improved over the last half-dozen games or so, but that doesn't make yesterday's loss much less surprising, particularly in light of what MSU had to gain by coming out strong and winning.

I'm trying hard not be the stupid, myopic sports fan here. There's no doubt that MSU's consistent excellence in hoops throughout the last 17 years tends to spoil us, and we begin to believe that winning, particularly in Breslin Center. is virtually automatic. Well, it's not. And when your opponent outworks you and outhustles you, like Nebraska did yesterday, you will lose--even in your own building. It's easy as a fan to focus all of your attention on what your own team did wrong and forget that there is an opponent who wants to win just as badly, and Nebraska was the hungrier team.

After Wisconsin, I was still convinced that if the Spartans ever got healthy again, they'd be a Final Four team. Now, I don't know that they'll ever get healthy and I'm beginning to question how far this team can go in the tournament. Maybe not as far as I originally thought.

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