Even with rumors swirling around Miles Bridges and his eligibility, Michigan State was able to was able to squeak out of Madison as outright Big Ten Champions. The Spartans defeated the Badgers 68-63.
Cassius Winston is MSU’s best/most important player
Many people consider Miles Bridges to be the Spartans’ best player, however, I’m not so sure that’s the case. Don’t get me wrong, Bridges is a phenomenal athlete and scorer. I just believe Winston impacts the game in more ways and has come up in more clutch moments this season. Winston filled the stat sheet against the Badgers, dropping 20 points, dishing out five assists and grabbing six rebounds. Furthermore, over his last five games, Winston has averaged, 14.2 points, 6.4 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 61.5 percent from the field and 74 percent from beyond the arc. He’s playing the best basketball of his life, and his impact on the game shouldn’t go unnoticed.
College basketball officiating is terrible
When people know the names of the referees, you know it’s bad. It’s gotten to a point where watching games is extremely difficult. In the Kansas-West Virginia game last week, free throws attempts were 35-2 in favor the Jayhawks. I can’t remember a game with such a free throw discrepancy, but that is college basketball now. Free throws have become a huge part of the game because defenders can’t really do anything without getting called for a foul. In this game, the referees were very inconsistent. They called elbows on the Spartans, but not on the Badgers and also missed some late calls on the Spartans that could’ve put the Badgers at the free throw line. I know the NCAA has a lot going on with the FBI probe, but something needs to be done about the poor officiating.
Xavier Tillman showing he will be a key contributor in the coming years
He doesn’t get many minutes, but Xavier Tillman makes the most of the minutes he does get. Nick Ward got into some foul trouble today and Tillman was there to help the Spartans contain Happ. Happ scored 13 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field. Not only did Tillman play well defensively, but he also came up big on the offensive end. The true freshman scored five points, three of which came after Wisconsin tied the game with just over 11 minutes to go. Tillman got good inside position and knocked down a tough layup, while getting fouled. The freshman big man has given the Spartans some big minutes this year, but more importantly, he’s showed that he will be a key contributor when the Spartans aren’t as deep up front.