Georgetown wanted it more.
That was what I took away from MSU's 64-60 loss to the Hoyas at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon...then I got mad at myself for spending two-plus hours watching one of the most lethargic, uninspired Spartan basketball performances of the entire season. That was one ugly game.
In my previous post, I picked the Spartans to beat Georgetown in a close game. I completely underestimated Georgetown's desperation, while overestimating Michigan State's interest in playing in the game.
The good news is the result of this game means relatively little for MSU. It was a non-conference game against an unranked opponent. Sure, it would have been nice to win, but I don't think it would have done anything for MSU's RPI or tournament resume. And, actually, getting out of New York without any further injuries is probably a bigger victory for the Spartans than if they'd defeated the Hoyas on the basketball court.
Better news occurred yesterday, when Indiana beat Michigan at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. The Spartans and Wolverines are now tied for first place in the Big Ten. I have to admit that if I had to choose between a Michigan State win over Georgetown or a Michigan loss to Indiana, I'd have gladly taken the Michigan loss: and not so much because I dislike Michigan, but because it helps Michigan State in the conference race.
So now, it's time to get Adreain Payne back in the MSU lineup and gear up for the final half of the conference season. I may be proven wrong in the end, but I firmly believe that if this team gets healthy and all the pieces back in place, they have a legitimate shot at a national championship run.