2014 Big Ten Tournament: 5 Things To Watch

6 of 6

Mar 6, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Keith Appling (11) and forward Adreian Payne (5) and guard/forward Branden Dawson (22) and guard Denzel Valentine (45) stand on the court during the 2nd half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. MSU won 86-76. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State Struggling To Find Championship Fire

Tom Izzo recently said in and interview that he doesn’t think his 2014 team has the fire of some of his other teams. But today on the Shep In The Morning Show, Izzo clarified his statement by saying that his players have done what he has asked them to do but just haven’t been able to win.

The contradicting statements by Izzo sum up the problem for the Michigan State Spartans whose contradicting play has cost them to fade down the stretch.

The Spartans lost 4 of the last 6 games including puzzling loses to Illinois and Nebraska. Puzzling because the losses came after getting back most of their injured players. Those games should have been a tune-up before the postseason not embarrassing uninspired loses.

So what is the cure for poor chemistry and struggling shooting.

It starts with defense and then some more defense.

"There is no doubt in my mind that was the norm when we were running early and it was because of our break,” Izzo said. “It was because they were pressing us and we were going through it like butter. That is who I think we are, but you can’t be who you are for minutes, you’ve got to do it for a lot of minutes.”"

The Spartans will try to right the ship when they take on the winner of Iowa v Northwestern on Friday night.