The embarrassment of a meaningless exhibition loss to Grand Valley State is long gone for Michigan State. Facing fifth-ranked Texas at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan State delivered a 78-72 win. This victory is the higlight of what has been a steady diet of good wins for Tom Izzo's team throughout December. Kalin Lucas put up eighteen points to key the win. With emerging stars like this, writes Michael Rosenberg of The Detroit Free Press, MSU can hope to be the best in the nation.
Ohio State finally got a win over Florida, beating the Gators 62-49 in Columbus. Bob Hunter of The Columbus Dispatch correctly writes that while beating a graduation-gutted UF squad might feel good, it really doesn't matter that much in the big picture. Both teams are very different from the ones that met last April for the national title. And Hunter adds that if the football team doesn't beat LSU, the feelings of satisfaction will go away quickly.
Purdue was unable to sustain the momentum off its big win over Louisville. They dumped a game to Wofford earlier in the week, lost to Iowa State on Saturday and barely escaped Missouri State yesterday. Free throw shooting is a problem, declares Jeff Washburn at Boiler Station.
Big Ten bowl season starts on Wednesday, with the Motor City Bowl between Purdue and Central Michigan, a rematch of a September non-conference game. Boiler Station's Tom Kubat says running back Jaycen Taylor doesn't want to hear about any motivation problems for this game.
The Motor City is one of three Big Ten bowl games this week. On Friday afternoon, Michigan State plays Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl. And on Saturday night, Penn State's Alamo Bowl date with Texas A&M has the unenviable task of competing for TV viewers with the New England Patriots' push for history that same night.