Results from MAST provide a first test of neoclassical tearing mode physics in the spherical tokamak (ST). The mode accounts for the main performance limit in conventional tokamaks. Its behavior in the ST is remarkably well described by existing theoretical models, although it is more readily seeded by sawtooth events in these scenarios. Modeling confirms the significance of stabilizing field-curvature effects. This provides good grounds for optimism that with suitable control of profiles, it may be possible to avoid these modes in the ST.