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January 03, 2012

'Sometimes, payback is payback'

Tom Izzo thought back to the Kentucky game of 2005. Bo Ryan thought back to his first win at Breslin, in 2002 -- which also ended after a clock review.

    I thought back to all the times I've seen Wisconsin do amazing things in this building at Michigan State's expense -- and how that Ryan Evans turnaround 3-point bank shot was the most amazing yet. But it didn't count. Here's referee Pat Driscoll to explain why:

    "By rule, we have to go by the clock that is on the backboard," Driscoll said. "I don't know why there would be different (times on different clocks) -- it could be satellite, electronic, whatever -- but by rule we have to go by the clock that is attached to the backboard. In our review on the monitor, the clock clearly showed zeroes while the ball remained in the Wisconsin player's hands."

    So there you go. This wasn't controversial. Just confusing. Izzo and MSU's players weren't even sure if the ruling was that Evans took the shot late, or that his foot was on the 3-point line.

    “I told the team in the beginning (of the overtime), ‘This is a Michigan State-Wisconsin game in football and basketball. This is just the way it’s supposed to be,'" Izzo said. "And I said at the end (after the Evans shot), I huddled them up and said, ‘Look, let’s just go win it in another overtime like we did the Kentucky game (in 2005).’ And then they announced the shot didn’t count, or that it was a two, or whatever they announced. I don’t even know what they announced, I just know we won the game.”

    He didn't apologize for it.

    “I don’t know what happened at the end, nor do I care,” Izzo said. “I thought we played well enough and earned the win, and that’s the way I’m gonna look at it.”

    Ryan was incensed right after the ruling. He was asked if this one hurt more, considering the history involved. He mentioned that 2002 game at Breslin.

    “Sometimes, payback is payback,” Ryan said. “What are you gonna do? Violence is out of the question. They all sting me.”

    The fact is, it was an incredible series of events in 23 seconds that led to the Evans shot. Two Green foul shots made it 61-54. Jordan Taylor hit a deep one. Keith Appling hit two foul shots. Taylor hit another deep one. Then Green missed two, making it possible.

    But before all that, Appling took over the late stages of a game that was always within MSU control -- driving layup, jumper, pass to Branden Dawson for layup, driving layup, driving layup.

    MSU was the better team, is the better team right now, and is positioning itself for a run that few saw coming. Who would have guessed this would be the MSU team to break the streak in Madison?

    * One more note: The technical foul called on the MSU bench actually was a reaction to a comment from assistant video coordinator Doug Herner -- who was sitting behind the bench, in the stands. Herner said he said: "That's a foul?"

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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