“Time heals everything”: Spartans set for emotional return to Breslin


Jack Moreland

The Michigan State Spartans line up for the national anthem ahead of their game against Nebraska on January 3, 2022. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

Luca Melloni, Sports Editor

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State men’s basketball team returns to the Breslin Center Tuesday night as the Spartans host No. 17 Indiana. This will be the first time that MSU plays on its home court since the deadly mass shooting that occurred in East Lansing on Feb. 13. 

“It’s our first game back on campus with our fans,” head coach Tom Izzo said. “Make no mistake about it, this [feeling] will never go away. Time heals everything.” 

The Spartans fell short against Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 18, when they lost 84-72 at the Crisler Center. A strong and determined finish by the Wolverines in the last 1:10 of the game sprang them past the Spartans in the Big Ten standings.

Joey Hauser led the game in Ann Arbor with 20 points and while the Spartans had the game within reach, the Wolverines made the right plays down the stretch to earn another rivalry win at home. 

Hauser became the first Spartan since Cassius Winston to score 20 points in three straight games. 

“I thought we put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Izzo said. “We had opportunities, we just didn’t get it done.”  

The University of Michigan honored the tragic event that claimed the lives of three MSU students and injured five others before tipoff. The UM Maize Rage student section wore shirts reading “Michigan Basketball stands with MSU” and the entire Crisler crowd was supportive of the Spartan community throughout the night. 

“It meant a lot,” senior guard Tyson Walker said after the game. “They put pride aside and they did something for the greater purpose.”

Despite the loss, Izzo said he was proud of his team. 

The Spartans sit in ninth place in the standings while their upcoming opponents, Indiana, are in third place behind Northwestern. The Hoosiers are 10-6 in the Big Ten and 19-8 overall this season. 

Hoosier senior Trayce Jackson-Davis leads his team in scoring with 20.5 ppg and posted a 26-point double-double in Indiana’s latest win over Illinois. 

“He’s [Jackson-Davis] has really improved his game with his ball handling. He’s improved his game with his strength and passing ability,” Izzo said. “He’s a load.” 

In the last matchup against the Hoosiers, the Spartans suffered a 69-82 loss at Assembly Hall. In that game, Jackson-Davis recorded one of his best stat lines of the season, recording 31 points and 15 rebounds. 

“We’re going to have to mix some things up,” Izzo said. “Our game plan can’t be just to stop Trayce [Jackson-Davis]. We got beat last time because [Tamar] Bates hit five out of six threes and I’m not sure he’s hit that many since.” 

With four games remaining in the regular season, the Spartans look to jumpstart a winning run in front of a Breslin crowd that seeks comfort after an emotionally difficult week in East Lansing. 

The game against the No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers is scheduled for a 9 p.m. tip-off from the Breslin Center.