MSU basketball falls to Alabama at PK85, to face Oregon: 4 quick takes

Alabama guard Mark Sears, center, drives to the basket between Michigan State guard Tyson Walker, left, and center Carson Cooper during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Phil Knight Invitational tournament in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov.  24, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

1. Life for MSU is going to be a chore until Hall and Akins return

PORTLAND, Ore. – I don’t know what the Spartans did to the basketball gods late in last Friday’s win over Villanova. But they should apologize. Because someone, somewhere seems to have it out for them.

By the end of Thursday night, after Michigan State’s 81-70 loss to Alabama in the PK85 Invitational played without injured mainstays Malik Hall and Jaden Akins, Joey Hauser was also nursing a sprained ankle, Pierre Brooks was in the doghouse and Bill Walton was the best thing Tom Izzo had going for him.

“You’re our hero, Coach,” the eccentric Walton, who called the game for ESPN, said, passing underneath the stands at the Moda Center in Portland.

“You’ve had a bad life then,” Izzo replied.

“Where was I?” Izzo said, trying to refocus.

Talking about a team that’s going to have to weather a tough stretch ahead shorthanded.

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