Michigan State lost Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman off of last season's team that shared the Big Ten title with Maryland and Wisconsin. But the Spartans were still ranked in the top 15 of the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll because they returned some talented pieces, added Marquette transfer Joey Hauser, and still had Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo on the sideline.
The Spartans got the benefit of the doubt.
They deserved it.
But after Friday's 85-76 loss to Wisconsin, it's fair to start wondering if Michigan State will meet expectations. The Spartans actually led by nine points in the second half but were outscored 43-25 over the final 16:11 while their defense let them down for the third consecutive game.
"Disappointed to get a nine-point lead, and you just don't step on their throat," Izzo said.
Wisconsin shot 51.9% from the field in the win and became the third straight team to shoot at least 50% against the Spartans. That's not normal. And it's among the reasons Michigan State now ranks 61st nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency after finishing 13th in the same category last season. For context, consider that Michigan State hasn't finished outside of the top 40 in adjusted defensive efficiency since 2006. So, again, this is not normal.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Marcus Carr finished with 30 points and eight assists while leading Minnesota to a 102-95 overtime victory over Iowa late Friday. The Golden Gophers' 8-1 record also includes a win over Saint Louis with the lone loss coming at Illinois. And Iowa is now 7-2 with zero wins over schools currently ranked in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1. So I've jumped Minnesota from unranked to No. 17, one spot ahead of Iowa, in Saturday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1. That move caused Michigan State, Duke, Michigan, LSU, Oregon, Arkansas, Colorado, Xavier and Louisville to be pushed down one spot each, no fault of their own. Consequently, Chris Mack's Cardinals are now the first team out.
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Saturday's Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Drew Timme finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in Tuesday's 95-78 victory over Northwestern State. The Zags' perfect record also includes wins over Iowa, Kansas and West Virginia.||--||24-0|
|L.J. Cryer finished with 15 points off the bench in Monday's 99-42 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Bears have won five of their six games by at least 30 points.||--||21-1|
|Christian Braun made six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in Tuesday's 79-65 victory over West Virginia. The Jayhawks' lone loss in a neutral-court loss to top-ranked Gonzaga.||1||19-8|
|Victor Bailey finished with 18 points and three rebounds in Wednesday's 80-60 victory over South Carolina Upstate. The Vols' perfect record also includes a win over Colorado.||1||17-7|
|Collin Gillespie made six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in Wednesday's 85-68 victory at Marquette. The Wildcats' lone loss is an overtime loss to Virginia Tech.||1||16-5|
|The Mountaineers finished with 11 turnovers and just 10 assists in Tuesday's 79-65 loss at Kansas. West Virginia's only other loss is a single-digit loss to top-ranked Gonzaga.||1||18-8|
|Trey Murphy finished with 15 points and four rebounds in Tuesday's' 76-40 victory over William & Mary. The Cavaliers' lone loss is a single-point loss to San Francisco.||1||17-6|
|Quentin Grimes made four 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in Tuesday's 76-50 victory over Temple. The Cougars' perfect record also includes a double-digit win over Texas Tech.||1||21-3|
|Greg Brown finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds in Sunday's 77-74 victory over Oklahoma State. The Longhorns' lone loss is a single-digit loss to Villanova.||1||17-7|
|Marcus Santos-Silva finished with 18 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday's 69-67 victory at Oklahoma. The Red Raiders' two losses are to Kansas and Houston.||1||17-9|
|D'Mitik Trice made four 3-pointers and finished with 29 points in Friday's 85-76 victory at Michigan State. The Badgers' lone loss is a final-second loss at Marquette.||1||16-11|
|Jeremiah Tilmon got a game-winning 3-point play in the final seconds and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's 54-53 victory over Bradley. The Tigers' perfect record also includes a win over Illinois.||1||15-8|
|Antwann Jones finished with 13 points off the bench in Wednesday's 66-61 victory over Xavier. The Bluejays' two losses are single-digit losses to Kansas and Marquette.||1||18-7|
|Ayo Dosunmu finished with 30 points and six rebounds in Wednesday's 98-81 victory at Penn State. The Illini's resume also includes wins over Duke and Minnesota.||1||20-6|
|Duane Washington made four 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in Wednesday's 80-68 victory over Rutgers. The Buckeyes are 6-0 with E.J. Liddell in the lineup.||1||18-8|
|The Scarlet Knights only grabbed four offensive rebounds in Wednesday's 80-68 loss at Ohio State. Rutgers' resume features wins over Illinois, Maryland and Syracuse.||1||14-10|
|Marcus Carr finished with 30 points and eight assists in Friday's 102-95 overtime victory over Iowa. Minnesota's lone loss is at Illinois.||NR||13-14|
|The Hawkeyes missed 20 of the 30 3-pointers they attempted in Friday's 102-95 overtime loss at Minnesota. Iowa's resume includes two losses plus zero wins over teams currently ranked in the Top 25 And 1.||15||20-7|
|The Spartans allowed Wisconsin to shoot 51.9% from the field in Friday's 85-76 loss to the Badgers. Wisconsin is the third straight team to shoot at least 50 percent from the field against Michigan State.||1||15-11|
|Matthew Hurt finished with 18 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 75-65 victory at Notre Dame. The Blue Devils' two losses are both to teams ranked ahead of them in the Top 25 And 1.||1||11-11|
|Franz Wagner finished with 20 points and nine rebounds in Friday's 80-69 victory at Nebraska. Six of Michigan's seven wins have come by double-digits.||1||19-3|
|Javonte Smart finished with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists in Monday's 88-66 victory over Sam Houston State. The Tigers' lone loss is a single-digit loss at Saint Louis.||1||16-8|
|Chris Duarte finished with 21 points and four rebounds in Saturday's 80-41 victory over Portland. Oregon's lone loss is a single-digit loss to Missouri.||1||19-5|
|Moses Moody finished with 21 points and four rebounds in Tuesday's 85-72 victory over Abilene Christian. The Razorbacks have won all of their games by double-digits.||1||21-5|
|McKinley Wright finished with 21 points and seven assists in Tuesday's 74-64 victory over Grand Canyon. The Buffaloes' lone loss is a single-digit loss at Tennessee.||1||20-7|
|The Musketeers missed 24 of the 32 3-pointers they attempted in Wednesday's 65-61 loss at Creighton. Xavier's resume features wins over Oklahoma, Marquette and Cincinnati.||1||13-7|