The ending was unforgettable, the way Keith Nichol snatched the Hail Mary ricochet out of the air, twisted his way toward the goal line and scored the game-ending touchdown by such a tiny margin, officials didn't realize he had reached the end zone until examining slow-motion replays.
That game-winning play will stay with Michigan State's players -- and probably Wisconsin's disappointed defenders -- for the rest of their lives. And yet, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio finds it necessary this week to remind his players that they won that 37-31 thriller a month ago.
In fact, Dantonio said, "We've won three of our last four [meetings with Wisconsin], and that needs to be recognized by our players."
Yes, Michigan State approaches the first Big Ten championship game ever Saturday with the best record in the conference (7-1), the best defense, too, and a recent history of making big plays to beat the Badgers.
Oh, and perhaps a bit of a self-esteem problem, too.
"We're the team with only one [Big Ten] loss this year," Dantonio reminded once more.
Yet Las Vegas has made Wisconsin an early nine-point favorite to win the rematch in Indianapolis this weekend, a reflection of the Badgers' offensive strength that surprised nobody in East Lansing, Mich.
"We've been underdogs numerous times this season, over and over and over. People didn't believe in us," said Joel Foreman, the Spartans' senior left guard. "But we know no matter what, the people in this building are the people who will determine whether we win or lose."
At least they'll have that chance this year. Last season, before Nebraska joined the league and the two-division system went into effect, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State all finished tied for the conference lead. The Spartans had beaten Wisconsin and had not played the Buckeyes, yet were left out of a BCS bowl while the Badgers went to the Rose Bowl and Ohio State accepted an invitation to the Sugar Bowl.
Ironically, if there were no divisions this year, the Spartans would already have clinched their first trip to Pasadena since 1988.
"Last year, we felt like we were the odd man out. We felt like at the very least, we should have gone to a BCS game," said Dantonio, whose disappointed squad absorbed a 49-7 pasting from Alabama in the Capital One Bowl instead. "In retrospect, we didn't play at that level when we had a chance to play. ... But motivation -- a trip to the Rose Bowl -- shouldn't be a problem" this year.
Nor should scouting, because these teams know each other well. Wisconsin and Michigan State have met every year since Dantonio was hired at MSU five years ago, and the home team has won all five. Three of the games were decided by single digits.
But no game was as crazy as this year's. Both teams blew two-touchdown leads, the Badgers scored the tying touchdown with only 1 minute, 26 seconds to play, and the game appeared headed to overtime when the Spartans couldn't get past Wisconsin's 44 on their final possession. But Kirk Cousins' desperation heave bounced off receiver B.J. Cunningham's helmet as time expired, and into Nichol's arms.
Both teams rolled up 400 yards of offense, and both made clutch plays down the stretch. If ever a game begged for a rematch, this was it.
"We learned we both can handle adversity," Dantonio said. "Both teams have a way of hanging in there, and that's impressive to me. When things don't go so well and you keep playing, those are the things that impress people."
Impress, sure. But after living through that lightning-strike loss, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema might suggest a different word: haunt.
While taking a walk last week with athletic director Barry Alvarez, his predecessor as Badgers coach, Bielema brought up the subject.
"We'd been walking a couple minutes with nobody saying anything, and finally I said, 'When do you stop thinking about it?'" Bielema said. "He started laughing. He knew exactly what I was talking about, and said: 'Never.'"