When a team you root for like it’s life or death loses a game by one point, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. When your team loses by one point on the road to a hated rival, it’s like poison. So my goal for the remainder of the evening is to pour a strong, refreshing beverage to erase the aftertaste of Michigan State’s 60-59 loss to Michigan.
I have no interest in dwelling on the details. The summary is this: Playing a second consecutive road game against a tough opponent, MSU played flat for most of the first half, trailed by seven at the break, and fell behind by 11 in the second half. Then they dominated for a long stretch and staged a comeback that made Spartan fans proud, even edging out to a lead late in the game. But then their shooters went cold, and the potential game-clinching shots wouldn’t fall.
The final score tells you that this was a game that MSU coulda-shoulda won. But it maybe got lost in that 15-game winning streak, which stoked our Final Four hopes early, that this is for the most part a very young team, still trying to figure out how to max out and mesh its talent. I am sure that the players who missed their shots down the stretch wanted to make them even more than we wanted them to. One of these times, that buzzer-beating shot will fall.
This team already learned from adversity, bouncing back smartly from those season-opening losses against North Carolina and Duke. We’ll be rooting for them as they try to get back on track at home Saturday against Purdue. And we’re already champing at the bit for the Feb. 5 rematch against Michigan. At our house.
Now, I need to cheer me up, so here’s some cute picture of Gracie, the queen of own household, taken yesterday. At the end, I’ll catch up with the Cooler on the Lake Shore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown.
On Saturday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 21, a low of 14, and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 39, a low of 27, and no precipitation. Point for D.C., obviously.
On Sunday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 31, a low of 13, and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 36, a low of 27, and no precipitation. Closer, but still a point for D.C.
On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 44, a low of 30, and .04 of an inch of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 42, a low of 25, and .03 of an inch of precipitation. Since that’s actually 13 degrees above normal for the date in Chicago, and one degree below normal for D.C., we’ll call that a win for Chicago. That nudges D.C.’s overall lead to 84-82.