"I thought Draymond didn't have one of his better games," said Izzo about his star players. "You know, I thought actually, I thought we started off kind of sluggish and weren't very good defensively early."
Green, who picked up two fouls early was quick to praise the play of his teammates and reflected back to another Spartan great for inspiration.
"I'm a big guy on history," explained Green. "I just always remember back when Mateen Cleaves was injured and the one memory that sticks in my mind when they were down there beating Notre Carolina, the biggest cheerleader on the bench, and that kind of lifts guys up, and that's what I tried to do for my guys as well."
Spartan fans should be encouraged with the fact the Spartans won despite Green's early sit down and the injuries the team is fighting through as Travis Trice posted 24-minutes on the court and Payne showed the leadership skills the Spartans will need to have continued success.
Overall besides Green's 21 points, Payne posted 16 and Keith Appling finished with 12 points and six assist.
Up next for the Spartans, Bo Ryan and his Wisconsin Badgers who MSU defeated twice this season for the first time since the 2000-01 season prior to Ryan's arrival. Both games this year have been classic battles as the Spartans beat the Badgers on the road 63-60 in overtime on Jan. 3 at the Kohl Center and 69-55 in East Lansing on Feb. 16.
Under Ryan the Badgers are 4-0 in Big Ten tournament semifinal games.