No. 10 Michigan State steamrolls Michigan

(AP Photo/Tony Ding)
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Bryn Forbes hit seven of his eight threes in the first half and finished with 29 points as No. 10 Michigan State went into Ann Arbor and beat down rival Michigan, 89-73.

And it wasn’t even that close.

Denzel Valentine added 21 points, nine boards and eight assists and Matt Costello chipped in with 14 points and eight boards as the Spartans look like they’ve rediscovered the groove that led them to a No. 1 national ranking for much of the non-conference schedule.

The Spartans have won four in a row, which includes a home win over Maryland and three consecutive blowouts.

And that’s a great sign the good folks of East Lansing, because Michigan State had a pretty unimpressive three-week stretch after the holidays.

That said. the bigger story here may actually be Michigan, who finally came back to earth after a 7-2 start in the Big Ten without all-american Caris LeVert. The Wolverines were embarrassed in back-to-back games in the same gym where they beat Maryland last month, losing to No. 22 Indiana on Tuesday in a game where they gave up a 28-0 run to the Hoosiers.

And here’s the thing: I’m not sure the issue is solely the absence of LeVert.

Michigan State shot 64.0 percent from the floor and 14-for-22 from three against the Wolverines, winning in a blowout despite committing 19 turnovers. Indiana’s numbers in the final box weren’t quite as impressive, but that’s because their offense was potent enough to turn much of the second half into garbage time.

LeVert will unquestionably make the Wolverines better when (if?) he returns.

But if they’re not getting stops, the Wolverines aren’t going to be winning too many games.