But as promising of a sign as it was, there was one specific point of that second half that might have shown, more than anything else, that the Spartans are close to being primed for the postseason.
The team on the court looked like strangers at times. Denzel Valentine, who has been one of the more consistent players, turned the ball over five times. Keith Appling, who is still not 100 percent with a wrist injury, handed it over four times.
A week or two ago after one of Michigan State's typical intense practices, I joked with Keith Appling he was walking around like an old man, resembling this 40-year-old when he gets out of bed in the morning more than the starting point guard of the No. 9 team in the nation.
When comparing strengths of various conferences, the play of teams that routinely live near the bottom of the standings is often examined.
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