East Lansing— There have been plenty of big upsets already this season in college basketball and the Big Ten has suffered its share.
Michigan's loss to New Jersey Institute of Technology was a doozy, almost as unpredictable as Nebraska falling to Incarnate Word.
But No. 25 Michigan State had avoided any such fate, losing only Duke and Kansas before falling in overtime at Notre Dame.
All thatended Saturday in what might be the biggest upset of the season as Texas Southern came away with a 71-64 overtime victory at Breslin Center. It was just the second win this season for Texas Southern (2-8), which had played only once at home and was coming off a 40-point loss to Gonzaga.
It was Texas Southern's first win over a Top 25 team since it beat 16th-ranked Minnesota on Dec. 21, 1994, according to STATS.
"The losses all go to the head coach," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "This one should have an asterisk next to it, to say that he solely did not do his job. So for all the guys that told me to never, ever, in the history of the world admit that it's the coach's fault, hear me out: That was a coaching loss, and I take full responsibility for it, and I plan on rectifying it starting at 8:30 tomorrow morning.
"I continue to say this, headline: 'Izzo's fault.' "
The Michigan State coach said the reason he is taking the blame is that he didn't work his team hard enough over the last two days. The Spartans practiced each day, but Izzo called them "sissy" practices.
And the result was a team that showed little fight for much of the game.
"We sucked, to be honest," said junior center Matt Costello, who led the Spartans with a career-high 17 points. "I think as a program, from coaches to players, we didn't take this game seriously enough. We knew Oakland and Eastern Michigan were tough games and we put a lot of stuff into that and we relaxed. You can't relax this time of year because that's when mid-majors come in and shock people. They did their job."
They certainly did, scrapping all game against the bigger Spartans and finally taking their first lead with 1:25 to play in regulation when Jason Carter hit a 3-pointer to put Texas Southern up 53-52. Denzel Valentine got the Spartans (8-4) back in front with a pair of free throws with one minute left to make it 54-53. However, Carter was at it again for the Tigers, getting a switch on defense and backing down Lourawls Nairn to get a short jump hook to fall with 27.6 seconds left, giving Texas Southern a 55-54 lead.
Following a Michigan State timeout, Costello got off a short jumper that was rebounded by freshman Javon Bess, who was fouled on the putback attempt. Bess hit the second free throw to tie the score at 55. Texas Southern turned the ball over at the other end and Michigan State was unable to get a final shot off at the end of regulation.
Once the overtime started it was more of the same for Michigan State — missed shots, turnovers and the inability to score at the free-throw line as Texas Southern outscored Michigan State 16-9.
It was a surprise for a team that entered the game as the best 3-point shooting team in the nation but went just 4-for-21 on Saturday.
"We're an offensive team and we've proven ourselves to be an offensive team," Costello said. "When that doesn't go well, we don't go well."
Bryn Forbes was 1-for-9 from 3-point range and Travis Trice was 0-for-3. Valentine was 2-for-5.
"My best players didn't play very well," Izzo said. "But I'm supposed to be the 'best' coach and I didn't coach very well. I'm taking the hit more than the players."
The Spartans weren't buying it. They put it squarely on themselves.
"We let coach down," Valentine said. "It was not his fault. There is no way we should have lost to that team."
Chris Thomas scored 22 to lead Texas Southern while Malcolm Riley added 20 and Carter scored 13.
"Give Mike Davis some credit after you really nail me and deservingly so," Izzo said. "But give him some credit because he did a hell of a job. His kids played as physical and as tough as any Big Ten team we'll play. I take my hat off to him."
Now the Spartans must turn things around quickly with a game against The Citadel on Monday. That means a long day for the Spartans on Sunday.
"I'm gonna find out whether the NCAA will legally allow me to practice tomorrow and probably exceed it," Izzo said. "That's what I'm gonna try to do. I'm not gonna emphasize anything but what we're gonna play harder, we're gonna play smarter and we're gonna come ready to play."
Welcomed or not, the players knew it was coming.
"Tomorrow is gonna be hell," Costello said.
Added Trice, "We deserve it. We put it on ourselves."