Tag Archives: Michigan State Basketball

MSU vs. Kentucky: HYPE HYPE HYPE

Good morning, Spartans!  Here we are, it’s time for our first real test of the 2013-14 basketball season. It’s about time, am I right? Wait, this is only the second game of the season? Well.

Bring it.

I, like many of the Spartan faithful, haven’t seen a ton of this team yet…but what I have seen is very exciting. Why not test it out now? Let’s see what these guys have.  Tonight marks the first 1 v 2 matchup in about six years, but what most people care about is the amount of talent that will be on the floor in both games. Joe Rexrode has a great breakdown of some of the story lines leading into tonight’s game.

Now, I know everyone is taking some time today to feel bad for John Calipari and how unfair it is that he has to take his group of freshman (maybe one of the best classes ever assembled in college basketball) and face the experienced Spartans, but once you dry your tears…how about some HYPE? You know we love a hype video.

Who wants to hit the gym?

One of the most ridiculous games ever…MSU vs Kentucky, NCAA Tournament 2005

And a great wrap up from last year, featuring two of my favorite Izzo hugs of all time.

 

So there you have it. Tune into ESPN tonight at 7:30 to see our mighty Spartans take on the Wildcats of Kentucky.

Go Green!

 

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Filed under Basketball, College Basketball, Hype, MSU, Posted by Sara

The Boat Report: No Punches Allowed Edition

It’s time for the second installment of the 2012-2013 Boat Report! Goodness we have slacked.  I resolve that for the New Year, we will be better at Boat Reporting and generally updating the blog. I’m blaming our struggles on Andrew Maxwell because HEY everyone else is doing it. Now, where are we?

Big Ten basketball season is well underway and the moral of the story is: YOU CANNOT LOSE A GAME AT HOME EVER. Otherwise? Doom. The second storyline is Michigan State is about to embark on a schedule of doom and all of a sudden, everything is a MUST WIN. How is it a must win in January, you ask? Well, after splitting the first two games of the Big Ten schedule (loss at Minnesota, win vs. Purdue), MSU has a road test vs. Iowa before embarking on a schedule of doom in the Big Ten. Will they be out of the title chase if they lose tonight? No. But it will certainly not help their cause, especially because the last four games of the month involve Ohio Sate, trips to Wisconsin and Indiana (AH STOP), and home vs. Illinois.

Yikes.

But I digress.  The Purdue Boilermakers rolled into East Lansing on Saturday and I predicted a big win. Though I knew it would probably get scrappy, because that has been the theme of MSU vs. Purdue games of late, I thought the home court with give State the advantage. Besides, we just were not going to start Big Ten season o-2. Not an option. And, like I said above, we just cannot lose a game at home. Good LORD is the Big Ten terrifying.

Let’s check out the Boat!

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Filed under Basketball, College Basketball, MSU, Posted by Sara, The Boat

Let’s Get Sweet!

Well, the day is upon us. Michigan State successfully made it through the beginning weekend of the NCAA tournament, dodged the minefields of upsets, and marched into Phoenix to face the number four seeded Cardinals of Lousiville tonight at 7.47 pm on TBS.

This is a match up of two great teams, and even better coaches. Tom Izzo is 5-0 vs. Big East teams in the NCAA tournament; Rick Pitino has never lost in the Sweet 16. One of those streaks will be broken tonight.

Obviously it will be a frenetically paced game with Louisville throwing the zone and press and lions and tigers and bears at the Spartans. It will not be an “ugly” game like St. Louis.  It will be a fight and Sarah and I both believe that a lot of it will come down to Keith Appling’s play. I don’t know about you, but I have faith in this Izzo lead team… with a lot of Draymond sprinkled in.

Are you looking for a little pre-game reading? How about this article from the New York Times: We’re Izzo’s Guys

How about a little pump up video? Might I recommend: 

And remember, we are all a part of this Spartan family: 

GO GREEN! And remember, if you’re in the mood for some MSU Basketball yelling/random comments/expert analysis… follow us on twitter @sports_squared.

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Filed under 2012 NCAA Tournament, Basketball, College Basketball, MSU, NCAA, Posted by Sara

A Look Back: Dominance of the Badgers

While this is way later than I had intended, Sarah and I wanted to take a minute to review the awesome game on Thursday. Michigan State dominated the Wisconsin Badgers and won the game 69-55. There were the standard slow moments, with the offense stalling and outside shooting colder than the arctic, but MSU was relentless and determined to complete their regular season sweep of the Badgers. This game also gave the Spartans their 6th win over a ranked team this year, the most in Division 1 basketball.

Get it, Draymond!

Draymond Green scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds. Keith Appling finished with a surprising 20 points as well! I honestly didn’t know that until I saw the box score after the game. It’s nice to see him scoring again, especially with the injury to Travis Trice that looks like it will keep him out for awhile longer. The fact that MSU had ALL the and ones probably helped his stats line as well. How many did they end with? 32?

MSU had a ridiculous 20 point lead with around nine minutes to play, and though Wisconsin cut it to 9 with 3:16 left, MSU refused to back down. It was another fantastic effort to watch. I often think to games that the Spartans played last year…when faced with adversity, that team would crumble. It seems like this year adversity make this team work that much harder. And the thing is? They have no where to go but up. If you don’t understand Tom Izzo basketball, look no further than this team, this year. They are really coming into their own, playing stingy/brutal defense, and picking each other up when things get tough. I honestly cannot wait to see how this year continues to unfold.

Michigan State now sits alone at the top of the Big Ten since Michigan took down Ohio State yesterday. It’s a half game lead and the road does not get any easier from here out, but it’s nice to be there. Who would have thought?

For some great reads on the game, here’s a quick couple of links:

The Only Colors: Onward and Upward

A Beautiful Day for Football is hilarious with photoshop

On the Banks of the Red Cedar takes a look at the remaining Big Ten schedule for MSU

Sports Illustrated has MSU at four in the power rankings (NOTHING TO SEE HERE. MOVE ALONG)

Drew Sharp says MSU is peaking at the right time

What’s next: Michigan State takes on a depleted Purdue squad at Purdue today at 1 PM on CBS. Purdue dismissed Kelsey Barlow and suspended DJ Byrd yesterday for an incident at a bar in West Lafayette. Also, look for the Paint Crew (Purdue’s student section) to be quite hostile to Branden Dawson after the first game between the two teams this year. It should be a good one, but I’m thinking MSU has the upper hand.

We’ll be back next week with the Boat Report. Go Green!

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Filed under Basketball, College Basketball, MSU, Posted by Sara

Izzone: STEP UP

I went back and forth on whether I was going to write this due to the coverage it has gotten recently, but I decided to go for it anyway.

As many of you know, the Michigan State men’s basketball student section is known as the Izzone. And, as you may have heard, this group has largely come under fire for its lackluster performance thus far in the basketball season. I had heard some rumblings on Twitter from Lansing area journalists who were remarking about how “down” the Izzone seemed this year. Perhaps it’s a hangover from the dismal performance of last year…but let’s forget all that. You are cheering for a team that is 14-2, on a 14 game win streak, and playing better than any MSU team I have seen in a long time.

I don’t want to write this as a lecture. I think the Izzone has heard it from just about everyone (including an email sent to all members from Tom Izzo himself). But I just want to touch on my experience with the group.

Let's make Tommy smile again, Izzone.

I was a member of the Izzone from 2004-2007, missing only my senior year due to an internship with the athletic department. My cousin Nik and I were stuck in the rafters freshman year, but we didn’t care. We went to every single game and yelled as loud as we could. Jumping up and down and screaming “air ball” from the rafters of the Breslin Center can be quite frightening, but we lived on the edge.

The last home game freshman year, upper bowl Izzone members were allowed the chance to sit in the lower bowl if we showed up early enough. A group of friends and I (including my poor little sister who wasn’t even a student yet) showed up an insane number of hours early…just for the chance to be down low. We ended up getting in and received seats right at half court, near the S (not Spartan head, kids). We even dubbed that the “Night that Dreams Came True” as we took pictures with various members of the team post-game – including Alan Anderson, Drew Neitzel, and Chris Hill. It was an incredible experience.

The next year, we camped out to receive our lower bowl seats. We pitched a tent on Munn Field…and we ended up being right next to where Tom Izzo and his two kids were camping. That was an…experience, to say the least. We ordered food, did homework, played a number of games of MASH (we’re cool), and had Coach Izzo himself shake our tent the next morning to wake us up. I remember checking my email a few days later and saw with relief that Nik and I were both in the lower bowl. We went to every game together (barring class or something else…and then Sarah usually stepped in). We lived and died by every point.

And there were meager years. Trust me. Junior year we were pretty miserable…Of course, miserable was finishing 23-12 but tied for 7th in the Big Ten and losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament. We still attended every game…yelled and stomped our feet along with Coach and lived and died by every point.  The team NEEDED us…and that’s why we were there.  The highlight that year? Beating number 1 Wisconsin at home and rushing the Breslin Center court.

Don’t remember that? Well, check this out:

Regardless of ranking, record, or opponent the Izzone should come ready to scream, jump, and boo the opposing team’s starting line-up. There should never be a break. I don’t care if we are playing North Dakota State Tech Southwestern. The opponent should leave East Lansing shaking their heads in wonderment of what they just experienced. I’m not sure they do that any more.

Maybe it’s a general lackadaisical feeling amongst current MSU students. They’ve been spoiled in both football and basketball recently. I mean, the football student section is not filled either. I think it was this year during Senior Day that some of the student section was empty? For the winningest class in MSU football history? Pshh. But I digress.

One of the blessings? curses? of being an MSU fan is feeling the need to constantly defend your team to everyone. Though MSU basketball has been relevant in rankings for a number of years, and won a national title in 2000, it always seems like we must constantly defend and demand respect. Well, part of the way a program is considered Elite is measured by its fans. (See BCS Bowls 2012 for a prime example of schools being chosen based on fans alone…COUGH Sugar Bowl COUGH.)Don’t let anyone question our fans anymore. It ends here.

Tonight is the first chance since all of this started for the current Izzone to make their mark. The proud Izzone alumni showed up during the game vs. Indiana. Don’t let them show you up. Michigan State is the greatest school in the world, in my unbiased opinion, and Tom Izzo is the greatest basketball coach. Do him and the school proud and show up tonight. Be loud. Be proud. And don’t make anyone pay attention to what you’re not doing again.

 

For those of you who have never been to the Breslin Center, why don’t you head over to Stadium Journey and check out their review of the place? Obviously we love the Bres at Sports Squared, but it’s nice to see “outsiders” like it too! Anyway, here’s a link: http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/breslin-center-s832/  They also take a look at Spartan Stadium and Munn Ice Arena…as well as a million other places!

 

What’s Next? The Spartans take on Iowa tonight at the Breslin Center at 7 PM. You can see it on Big Ten Network! Then, the Spartans hit the road at Northwestern on Saturday (3 PM, BTN). After Northwestern we’ll update the Boat Status. Also! Breaking News… Trophy Tuesday will return next Tuesday! Back by popular demand.

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Filed under Basketball, College Basketball, MSU, NCAA, Posted by Sara