Though Spokane's first game was indeed major vs. mid-major, it didn't really have that vibe. This game had the look and feel of a battle between the haves and have-nots.
The great equalizer, as the three point line is often called in these kinds of games, was exactly that early. The Blue Hens hung around with the Spartans thanks to a pair of threes in the opening moments. Delaware went cold from three after that quick spurt.
It's a difficult shot, after all, that's why it's worth more.
Just because they weren't falling isn't to say the Hens weren't still throwing them up. The Spartans, the big Spartans, weren't letting the Hens get anywhere near the bucket. Only two of Delaware's points over the first ten minutes came in the paint.
With shots not falling, Delaware found itself in a hole.
Spartans' center Adreian Payne had a monster first half. Over four minutes in the middle of the half, Payne led Michigan State on a 12-0 run that would make it 36-18. He scored all twelve of the points on the run.
Speaking of twelve, twelve of his 28 points in the first half came from long range. When he hit his fourth three with 2:22 left, he matched the Hens' total from three. Except, he hadn't missed.
Delaware took an 11 point deficit into the locker rooms at halftime. They came out of the break on a mission to cut into that lead. Devon Saddler and Davon Usher scored six points in the first two minutes.
They could get no closer, though the Spartans never really managed to pull away. With 2:35 remaining, Kyle Anderson hit three free throws that cut the lead to ten. Michigan State just kept doing what it had done all game long and by the sound of the final buzzer, the lead had grown once again to 15 points.
The Blue Hens waived the white flag with 59.9 seconds on the clock by sending four reserves from the bench to the court.
Adreian Payne finished with a career high 41 points (he's the current NCAA Tournament scoring leader). He scored 17 points from the free throw line and needed just 17 attempts to do so.
A Michigan State vs. Harvard date is now set for Saturday.