Yes, it was only Northwestern, but it was a win for the Spartans and there were encouraging signs going forward.
The defensive intensity was there, particularly in the first half. I can't remember the last time I saw MSU play defense with such tenacity.
Branden Dawson looked great: dominating the boards with ferocity and "cleaning up the garbage" under the basket.
Denzel Valentine also had a fantastic game, and provided an ESPN highlight clip with his behind-the-back no-look pass to a trailing Matt Costello for a slam.
The question now is can MSU follow up this game with another excellent game. This has become all too familiar: MSU plays great against a weaker opponent only to follow up with a lackluster performance against a stronger foe. Today, the Spartans will be facing Wisconsin, a team that is playing better than anyone else in the Big Ten. It remains to be seen whether MSU can string together two consecutive outstanding performances.