Michigan State pulled off the biggest comeback in Big Ten history Saturday afternoon, erasing a 27-point deficit to pull off a 65-60 road win over Northwestern. The comeback also ranks as the fifth-largest in Division-I history.
Northwestern rolled out to a 43-16 lead in the first half and carried a seemingly insurmountable 49-27 lead over the second-ranked Spartans into the locker room at halftime. The second 20 minutes were a complete role reversal. Michigan State held their hosts to just 3-of-26 from the field and only 11 total points. Those 11 points tied the season-low for points in a half by a Division-I team this season.
Michigan State's lowest win probability was 2.1% (3:28 1st half).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 17, 2018
Northwestern scored 11 Pts in
the 2nd half, tied for the fewest by a D-I team after halftime this season (Longwood had 11 vs UNC Greensboro on Nov. 21). pic.twitter.com/Mo2uZPBwLt
The victory was the 10th straight for Michigan State, which assured itself of being at least tied atop the Big Ten standings heading into the final week of the league’s regular season.
In a fact that everyone who isn’t a Northwestern fan might find fun: Michigan State also owns the Big Ten (and NCAA record) for largest comeback in a football game, and that victory also came against the Wildcats. In 2006, Northwestern led Michigan State 38-3 with 9:54 to go in the third quarter before the Spartans raced back for a seemingly impossible 41-38 win.
Michigan State’s women’s lacrosse team also once trailed Northwestern 33-1 in 2003 before pulling off a 34-33 victory. Ok that one’s made up, but you believed it for a second because of how wild the other two were, right? That’s how wild the comebacks were.