Michigan State has a storied basketball history. The Spartans have won two national titles, sent dozens of players to the NBA and one coach to the Hall of Fame.
But they’ve never won 25 of their first 28 games in a season — at least they hadn’t as of Tuesday afternoon.
Michigan State has a chance to make program history Tuesday night against Minnesota. If the No. 2 Spartans beat the Gophers (in a game where they’re favored by 10 points), they’ll push their 2017-18 record to 25-3, which would mark the best start through 28 games in school history.
As pointed out by ESPN Stats and Info last week, Michigan State’s best start this late in a season came in 2000-2001 when the Spartans began the campaign 24-3.
(4) Michigan State held on to defeat Iowa 96-93 last night.
The Spartans are 23-3 this season, their best start since 2000-01 when they started 24-3 and reached the Final Four. pic.twitter.com/pfOUVPwfL3
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 7, 2018
Michigan State got to that mark Saturday with a last-minute win over then-No. 3 Purdue. The 2000-2001 team stumbled in a Big Ten Tournament game to Penn State to fall to 24-4. The Spartans are hoping to take care of business in Minneapolis on Tuesday night (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
A win vs. the Gophers would put Michigan State just a half a game behind Ohio State for the Big Ten lead. Tom Izzo would likely be quick to point out that matters much more than some school record. But it’s still crazy that a program like the Spartans has never rattled off a better start than this one.
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