EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Some thoughts following No. 10 Michigan State's 64-54 win over No. 22 Michigan at the Breslin Center on Sunday afternoon.
Player of the game: Michigan State forward Draymond Green. The Spartans senior, after losing to Michigan, 60-59, on Jan. 17, guaranteed his team would win in East Lansing today. And any time Michigan tried to make a run, Green responded. He hit turnaround jumpers on the baseline and in the paint. He grabbed critical rebounds and he did it while still recovering from a left knee injury. He finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and four assists.
Unsung hero of the game: Michigan State guard Keith Appling. Against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Appling struggled. He couldn't keep up with Michigan freshman guard Trey Burke and was off offensively as well. On Sunday, he was good on both ends. He drove the lane confidently and guarded Burke strongly -- denying him entries into the lane. Appling had 10 points, two assists and three steals.
Stat of the game: Michigan couldn't rebound much at all. Green -- a one-man machine in his final regular season game against the Wolverines -- had as many rebounds as Michigan as a team . Green had 16 rebounds. Michigan also had 16.
Second guessing: Michigan sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. had one of the worst games of his career on Sunday. He couldn't get anything going from the outside or driving the ball -- shooting 1 of 10 from the field and scoring two points. He also missed his first four shots of the second half when the Wolverines were trying to make a run.
What it means: After three straight wins for Michigan, the Spartans ensured they wouldn't go two seasons in a row without beating Michigan. For Green, it means he finishes the regular season portion of his career with a 4-3 record against Michigan. The two teams could met again in the Big Ten tournament, of course.