If you spill a drink at a party, it’s a party foul.
If the party’s theme was “spill your drink,” then, well, you did what you had to do and nothing more.
For the beginning of Monday night’s contest against Northwestern, the Michigan men’s basketball team was exactly in this position. Facing the Wildcats’ zone defense, the Wolverines started 1-for-12 from three and coughed up the ball four times in the first 15 minutes, while also missing a number of defensive assignments.
“New year, new me” is as applicable to you as it is to the Michigan State men’s basketball team. In the 2016-17 season, the Spartans began the year ranked at No. 12, eventually sliding to become a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament and ducking out in the first weekend with a loss to Kansas. Against its in-state rival, Michigan State defended home court against Michigan, and then got blown out by 29 the next week in Ann Arbor.
With 28 seconds remaining and the score tied at 69, the ball fell into Charles Matthews’s lap. He was the go-to guy for the Michigan men’s basketball team’s final shot.
The redshirt sophomore sauntered to the left side of the court before lowering his shoulder into Purdue guard Dakota Mathias and bursting to the hoop. Matthews had a better angle. Mathias had better reflexes. The ball sailed out of bounds, and it was back to the Wolverines.