As we mentioned, the Spartans were the favorite coming into this tournament a few days ago. They've lived up to their expectations thus far, and have only the Purdue Boilermakers standing in between them and a fifth Big Ten Conference tournament title.
While the Spartans came away victorious, what is there to be taken away from this game moving forward for both squads?
Here are some of the biggest things that can be taken away.
What We Learned:
1. The Maryland Terrapins can play with anybody
The Terps have struggled coming down the stretch of this year, but there was never any doubt about their talent. On Saturday, they proved that they can play with anybody on any court in any game. On a day where Melo Trimble had a bit of an off day, the Terrapins still almost pulled out the victory at the end.
Melo Trimble had only 11 points and struggled from the field, going 2-15 and 1-6 from the three point line. Despite his struggles, the Terrapins proved once again that they've got the balance to beat you with plenty of different options. Robert Carter led them on this day with 18 points, shooting 6-10 from the floor.
2. Michigan State Spartans continue their run of success
The Michigan State Spartans are tied with Ohio State for the most Big Ten Tournament titles since the tournament began. Each school has won four titles, and Michigan State goes into Sunday playing as well as they have played all year. Denzel Valentine does absolutely anything that they need him to do to come away with a victory.
He finished today with 18 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. While he also struggled from the field, he does so much for this team and they've got so much talent and shooting that they can overcome an occasional rough day for him from the field.
As I've said before, Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches at this time of the year that we've had in college basketball. This team has peaked at just the right time, and they'll be playing for a certain #1 seed on Sunday when they face Purdue.
3. This may be the best team Tom Izzo has ever had at MSU
This one is open for a lot of debate, but I think that this team has a legitimate argument for one of the best teams that Izzo has ever had at Michigan State.
If not the best, this is certainly one of his most enjoyable teams to watch. They get up and down the floor, they can shoot the lights out of any gym on any night. They play Tom Izzo type of defense and they once again lead the nation in rebound differential. There isn't anything that this basketball team can't do, and it certainly seems like they've set themselves up for another potential deep run.
If Michigan State wins on Sunday, Tom Izzo and the Spartans will be 5-1 all time in the tournament championship game. They'll be a likely #1 seed, and while a lot of people seem to believe that Buddy Hield will win the Wooden Award for National Player of the Year, you'd be very hard pressed to find any player that can have as much of an all around impact on a game as he can.