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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan State Spartans’

The 2010 Four is Final

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The Butler Bulldogs Come Home; or Tom Izzo is as Constant as the Northern Star (When it comes to the Tournament); or Duke’s Back; or Is it Huggins’ Time? Either of these headlines would work when describing this year’s Final Four teams. To say this was an unexpected group is an understatement.

A lot of people expected Duke — the only number one seed to make it this far — to get beat in the earlier rounds by teams like Louisville or Baylor, while Butler is still shedding its “mid-major” label. West Virginia looks legitimate, but their lack of offensive pop — they’ve notoriously struggled to score in both the Big East and NCAA Tournaments — makes their appearance a little surprising. As for Michigan State, even with Tom Izzo as coach, the fact the Spartans lost their best player in Kalin Lucas to a hamstring injury makes them a surprise team as well.

Considering these teams, the hype surrounding the 2010 Final Four may not be as big as previous seasons, but don’t tell any of the attending teams that. I seriously doubt Duke or Butler care about whether or not they were popular picks. Furthermore, I also doubt any of Bob Huggins’ players doubt they belong, strictly because of how clutch the Mountaineers have been, not to mention how good they’ve been defensively. As for Michigan State, well, they have Tom Izzo, and that alone makes them a threat for a deep tournament run, whether non-Spartans fans are tired of seeing them there or not.

This is your Final Four, and while they may not be the most popular teams out there, each and every one of them deserve to be there. Nothing was handed to any of the teams. They all had to earn their trip, something the average victory margin of 5.5 points for all of the Elite Eight games indicates nicely.

With all that in mind, who ya got?

Are you siding with Butler and their awesome story, or do you want to see Izzo win his second title? Can Duke solve West Virginia’s stifling 1-3-1 zone or will Duke take advantage of any Mountaineers scoring droughts? These are just some of the stories to pay attention to as we get ready for another weekend of tournament basketball.

Chris Allen’s Dunks Brings Joy To His Teammates


Nasty dunks illicit a number of different reactions. A collective “daaaaaaaaaamn” from the crowd, the hung heads of an opposing team, and the hyper-excited reactions from teammates are just a few of them. Take Chris Allen of Michigan State for instance. Allen had a vicious, play-of-the-day worthy dunk Saturday against Northwestern. The result? His teammates, as you can see in the lead image, went absolutely ape-pooh. Granted, I don’t really blame them, considering the dunk Allen threw down, but still, it’s a funny reaction.

Of course, if you are reacting to this (11 second mark):

You might lose whatever cool points you have stored in your reserve. Here’s another video, this time focusing on the reactions of Allen’s teammates:

As for Allen’s Spartans, while Kansas and Kentucky battle for meaningless mid-season number one rankings, Tom Izzo’s team continues to run over Big 10 competition, positioning themselves for yet another deep run in the tournament. While other teams are getting the hype, the Spartans continue to simply be a really good basketball team that no one will want to play in March.

College Basketball Is Closer Than You Think

Today’s date is September 17, 2009, and in exactly two months, November 17, 2009, something greater than you or I happens:

College basketball returns.

Naturally, ESPN will be all over it, offering 24-hours of coverage. The idea alone, even if Kentucky is not on the WWL’s opening day schedule, is enough to make one giddy with anticipation. Here’s the upcoming schedule, which, if you are a college basketball, should read like what happens when you get to heaven.

After the jump >>

North Carolina Shines

And just as easily as it began, college basketball closed the book on another season with the crowning of North Carolina as National Champions, doing so in dominant fashion. By now, you’ve been recapped enough — Side note: is it just coincidence Stuart Scott was on-hand to recap the game as ESPN’s late-night SportsCenter, which was debuting its Los Angeles show? He hasn’t done a 1am SportsCenter in forever. Nice homerism, World Wide Leader. — so I won’t rehash what you already know. The Heels were the best team, and they simply overpowered Michigan State from the opening tap, starting the game with a 22-7 run. From there, it was academic.

How many times have you been able to say, during a National Championship game, that it’s over by the first TV timeout? And be right?

MOP surprise?
Wayne Ellington was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, something I made mention of yesterday. Even though Ellington did have a great game (19 points, 4 rebounds), Lawson deserved the award. The Carolina point guard broke the NCAA title game steals record by collecting seven. Oh, and Lawson accomplished this not-so-little feat by halftime. He was also 15-18 from the charity stripe and generally controlled the flow — and outcome — of the game.

Without Lawson, Carolina doesn’t beat LSU, Oklahoma or Villanova.

Final Dance: Michigan State and North Carolina

Heels and Spartans

There’s a basketball game of some note on tonight. The college basketball National Championship. You might have heard of it. After one of the more underwhelming Final Four Saturdays in recent memory — sorry, even with Michigan State’s “upset” of UConn, there just wasn’t a great deal of compelling basketball coming through the screens this past Saturday — Michigan State and the North Carolina Tar Heels will meet tonight to decide who gets to take the NABC’s crystal basketball trophy home with them for the summer.

Some things to watch for tonight:

After the jump >>

The Final Four Rocks Detroit

Final Four Weekend

TGIFFF. Or, Thank God it’s Final Four Friday, either/or would work. The best in the land of college basketball descend on Detroit tomorrow to decide who’s going to the National Championship game on Monday. The first game is Michigan State versus Connecticut, with North Carolina/Villanova closing us out.

So. Who ya got?

Our Final Four preview after the jump >>

Thank God It’s Saturday – Texas and Missouri

Texas and Missouri

Texas and Mizzou headline a great weekend of college football as Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin head down to Austin in an attempt to knock the high-riding Longhorns down a peg or two. While Texas is coming off that huge win against Oklahoma, the Tigers are trying to recover from their surprising defeat at the hands of Oklahoma State. Mental states aside, this game has the making of a PS3-style shoot-out with both teams featuring explosive, explosive offenses.

More college football previews after the jump >>

Dancin’ At The Sweet 16: Memphis – Michigan State

Memphis/Michigan State

These are going to be a little shorter than yesterday but it’s the thought that counts.

Our Call
For some reason, everybody seems to be on the Michigan State bandwagon, especially for this game. There’s no denying the effectiveness of Tom Izzo in the tournament, but sometimes, your opponent is just better than you. That’s pretty much the way I’m feeling about tonight’s game. Michigan State can turn this into a grinder and slow Memphis down, but the Tigers can dictate tempo as well. The key for MSU — besides great defense — is hoping Drew Neitzel can keep his shooting stroke… you know, the one he finally found against Pitt.

In the end however, it looks like Memphis will be too much for the Spartans.

Memphis – 75, Michigan State – 67