It may not have been pretty, but a win in the Big Ten Tournament was necessary for Tom Izzo and his team to keep their hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament alive. Iowa had other ideas but saw too much “Green” in their 66-61 loss to the Spartans.
Behind Draymond Green’s 21 points and 14 rebounds, Michigan State defeated Iowa on Thursday in first round play of the Big Ten tournament and will play Purdue on Friday with tipoff set for 6:30 PM ET.
Iowa fought hard as Bryce Cartwright scored 14 points to go with 7 boards and 6 assists, and Matt Gatens posted 13 points in the loss.
Green was not alone as Kalin Lucas and Keith Appling each scored in double figures on the night. However, the night belonged to the junior from Saginaw, Michigan.
“Draymond will probably tell you that he was not as good, you know, part of the first half, but I thought he too sucked it up, and we went to him.” Said Tom Izzo following the game.
Nevertheless, Izzo knows a win is a step in a positive direction for the Spartans and at this point in the season, you take one game at a time.
“As I told my guys, the last year we played New Mexico State in the first game (of the NCAA Championship), and as Draymond said when he walked in, it’s about advance, surviving advance, and that’s kind of the way it is.”
The Spartans advance to battle Purdue on Friday knowing another win would give them solid footing for a berth in the dance.