Banker Life Fieldhouse

Indianapolis, IN

The #2 Michigan State Spartans are 28-5 and playing for the Big Ten Tournament title today here in Indianapolis. The Spartans are riding high winning 12 of their last 13 games and steamrolling towards a possible NCAA #1 seed early this evening.

So what team beat MSU during this 13 game run? You guessed it, today’s opponent the Purdue Boilermakers. Back on February 9 they took down MSU 82-81 in overtime. So for a team on a Championship mission, it would only make sense that Purdue stands in a way of some hardware.

So does Denzel Valentine think playing those Boilermakers today gives extra incentive? “I mean, kind of. But, like I said, this is a championship game. And it’s much more than getting revenge on Purdue. No disrespect to them. But we have bigger goals and aspirations. We want to win the championship. It makes it better because it so happens to be Purdue, and we lost to them earlier in the season. But at the same time, we’re not worried about that. We’re worried about holding that trophy up and them saying Michigan State Spartans are the champions. That’s what we’re worried about. “

Matt Costello sounds a lot like his good friend and Captain Denzel. He said of today’s tilt, “What he said.”

Matt Painter the Purdue head coach told Spartan Nation in West Lafayette after beating the Spartans that they thought stopping Bryn Forbes was the key to beating MSU. That was there game plan and I expect it to be the same today.

Maryland had the same game plan last night and held Forbes in check as he only had four points. He also struggled against Ohio State and MSU found a way to win those games. So what does Tom Izzo think about teams using that game plan and the fact that yesterday it proved to be a failed one.

“Somebody asked the question we won this game on our defense, and that’s usually what you win championships on. You get enamored with the three-point shot, but those things come and go. And sooner or later, you have to grind it out. And I thought we ground it out pretty good.”

The Spartans game with Purdue today tips off at 3PM. The game can be seen on CBS with immediately following coverage of where the Spartans will be seeded and going to play in the Big Dance. The Spartans are sporting a record of 28-5 on the season.