Shocker: Michigan State loses to Texas Southern

NJIT over Michigan? It's no longer the biggest shock in the state of Michigan's -- or the country's, really -- college basketball scene.

Texas Southern's 71-64 overtime win Saturday over No. 25 Michigan State is the biggest upset of the year. Chris Thomas had 22 points, and Malcolm Riley scored 20 points for the Tigers. The Spartans went 4-for-21 from the 3-point line.

They didn't have Branden Dawson, who missed the game due to a wrist injury, but they were still favored -- by a country mile.

Let's put some context on this thing so you understand how crazy it was:

  • Ken Pomeroy gave Michigan State a 98 percent chance of victory.

  • Texas Southern was 1-8 entering the game, a record that includes a 40-point loss to Gonzaga and a 26-point loss to Eastern Washington.

  • Texas Southern was ranked 279th in ESPN.com's BPI ratings entering the game.

  • This is the first win for Texas Southern over a ranked team since the Tigers defeated No. 16 Minnesota on Dec. 21, 1994. That's right, folks. It has been nearly 20 years to the day since TSU beat a ranked opponent.

It seems all the Michigan State fans who cracked jokes -- and bought NJIT shirts to gloat -- about their rival Michigan's recent slump will get a little bit of what they dished out after the Spartans suffered arguably the worst upset loss of the year.

Michigan's losses to NJIT and Eastern Michigan weren't pretty, but this is certainly on par with those two. It also extended a surprising nonconference start by the Big Ten.

Indiana has a home loss to Eastern Washington. Michigan has lost four in a row, including those back-to-back losses to NJIT and Eastern Michigan. Nebraska has a loss to Incarnate Word.

But Michigan State's loss to Texas Southern probably tops them all.

One man's misfortune is another man's miracle, though.

Mike Davis has been on the sideline multiple times at the Breslin Center. From 2000-06, he was the head coach at Indiana. His final years weren't great, especially in East Lansing. In his last two losses to the Spartans during his time in Bloomington, the Hoosiers lost by a combined 28 points.

"I've been in here a lot with some really good teams, and we got smoked in here," Davis told ESPN.com. "I'm feeling very good with our game today."

Davis credited two factors for the win: a tough schedule and winter break.

Gonzaga defeated Texas Southern by 40 points in Spokane in its most recent game. That helped, Davis said. They've also faced Indiana, Florida, SMU and Tennessee -- all losses for the Tigers. Texas Southern's strength of schedule is ninth nationally, per the BPI.

Davis also said his staff has been pushing his players harder now that the semester has ended and they have more time to practice.

"We've been running pretty hard," Davis said, "almost like training camp."

Texas Southern, much like a multitude of HBCUs and low-major programs, spends the bulk of November and December on the road. Of its 10 games this season, nine have been road games.

Davis said that will help his team once SWAC play arrives.

"I am [on cloud nine]," Davis said. "It feels good to be up here too. … I just thought we had a chance to win the game. I told them, 'Let's play the last five minutes like we played the first 40.' It's a great win for our program, players and university."

And for Coach Davis.