During last night’s blowout Michigan victory over Michigan State in basketball there were some extra-curricular activities between MSU’s Nick Ward and UM’s Moritz Wagner. After a whistle for a timeout, Ward tripped Wagner so blatantly that it was caught by the TV cameras and announcing team. Ward was assigned a technical for the infraction.
Spartan head coach Tom Izzo let down his emotional guard in a postgame interview and downplayed the altercation.
Izzo: “Nick Ward going to hear about ‘the trip’ – but ‘Wagner can be a pain in the butt, too. Let’s not kid ourselves.’
— Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) February 8, 2017
In a postgame interview with ESPN, Ward was undecided about whether or not it was intentional.
“I really don’t think I did on purpose, but (the officials) thought I did.”
Izzo also told ESPN that kind of thing goes on all the time and that Ward was baited by Wagner. After all, boys will be boys, right coach?
“Let’s not kid each other here about what goes on. It went on at our place, too. But the experienced guy got the inexperienced guy.”
For his part, Wagner took the high road.
“He’s the five for Michigan State and I’m the five for Michigan, so obviously we’re going at each other,” Wagner said. “That’s just all it is, I think. All this little stuff, that doesn’t really matter to me. I just care about the win.”
If Izzo is going to maintain the position that it’s okay to trip other players because they are “a pain in the butt,” then other college basketball fans are going to have something to say about that. Mainly, fans of the Duke Blue Devils. Duke junior Grayson Allen has been involved in several tripping incidents this season and has dealt with suspensions because of his behavior.
Following the incident, Nick Ward and his feet were a hot topic on Twitter.
LMFAO NICK WARD WANNA BE GRAYSON ALLEN SO BAD
— 〽️ (@DETGoBlue) February 8, 2017
Nick Ward has apparently been watching some Grayson Allen film.
— Dylan Burkhardt (@umhoops) February 8, 2017
For those that wanted Grayson Allen banned from Duke. How long should coach Izzo suspend Nick Ward for tripping? His trip far worse than GA.
— Jason Pugh (@JPughSports) February 8, 2017
Nick Ward just pulled a Grayson Allen. Stay classy Sparty.
— Joey Mays (@jmays23) February 8, 2017
Nick Ward is like Grayson Allen minus the attending a prestigious school part.
— Scott Bell (@sbell021) February 8, 2017
— Duke Blue Devils (@ChatBlueDevils) February 8, 2017