Mar 1, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play during the 1st half of a game against Illinois at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois at Michigan State final score: Illini hand Spartans second straight loss, 53-46

The month of March did not get off to a rousing start for head coach Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans as they began it by dropping their second consecutive game, this time to the Illinois Fighting Illini, 53-46.

The game was a battle for the first 20 minutes, with the game all knotted up at 28 going into the locker rooms for halftime. However, many expected the Spartans to rally in the second half and pull away from the team that had only won five conference games up to this point.

That’s not how things worked out, though, as this scrappy Illini team was able to pull away in the final 20 minutes, shocking the team that, at one point, was number one in the country.

Three Illini players finished the game in double figures, led by Tracy Abrams who wound up with 12 points on the afternoon.

With tournament time looming right ahead, this is not a good sign for this Michigan State team that at one point was favored to win the national championship.

Tags: Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini Michigan State Spartans

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