With Big Ten Tournament here, Spartans gear up to close in on the ultimate prize.
Before we get to speculating about the Spartans’ chances in the Big Ten Tournament and beyond, let’s stop and think back to this moment from last year right in the heart of Michigan State’s campus –
If we’ve had doubts about some of the fundamental character traits of our beloved university lately, this moment should remind us of so many of the good things that have bound our community together for so long.
Miles Bridges would have been a lock for a lottery pick in last year’s NBA Draft.
When I think back to the end of my freshman year in East Lansing, I’d have been an absolute lock for the lottery in the Professional Beer Drinking League Draft – and I’d have been on my way to the PBDL without even bothering to collect my belongings from Room A124 in Emmons Hall.
This kid chose to wait on more money than any of us would ever know what to do with.
He risked injuring himself and losing out on that dream of playing basketball at the highest level.
He risked having television analysts saying that he has no game.
He risked having a disappointing season and watching his lottery pick status drift away.
But Miles Bridges has led this Michigan State team to a dream-like season and the Spartans are poised to dig in and attack March with reckless abandon.
The Big Ten Tournament gives this team a chance to check another box on the season and add a Tournament Championship to the list of accomplishments that are beginning to add up.
Can Purdue and it’s massive big men thwart the Spartans? The classic battle a few weeks ago at the Breslin Center gave us a peek at a possible Big Ten Tournament Championship rematch.
Can Ohio State find the lightning they caught in a bottle when the Buckeyes delivered a gut punch to State in Columbus earlier this season?
Can UMAA find the strength to pound the Spartans like they did in East Lansing?
Any of scenarios are possible.
And then, of course, there is Duke, Carolina, Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, Xavier, and the rest to worry about.
At this moment, however, one senses that Miles Bridges and his pals are of the mindset that coming opponents warrant this type of treatment: