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NCAA Men Basketball Sweet Sixteen Thread
Mar 23rd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Here is the place to let your opinion and feelings known about the contests on Thursday and Friday.

USA Name in the Title: The Marine Will Watch. Will You?
Mar 22nd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The United States takes on Puerto Rico for the Championship of the World Baseball Classic.  The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 9PM (EDT).

The Marine says this championship is silly, but will watch because it has the USA involved.  What are your thoughts?

The Tiger’s Ian Kinsler is on the USA squad and starting at 2nd base.  Tiger Pitchers Michael Fulmer and Alex Wilson were named to the team.  Fulmer is injured.

Former Tiger’s Jim Leyland (MGR), Tom Brookens, Jeff Jones and Alan Trammel are on the coaching staff.

TUS Member Tony DeMarco is in Los Angeles, California covering the event. Tony’s pre-game report is located [here]

MSU Hockey: Let the Healing Begin
Mar 21st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Coach A has stepped down.  Read it [here].  It has been a long and painful six seasons.  As a point of reference MSU has the least amount of wins of any D1 school during the same period of time.

So where does MSU Hockey go next?  If you were adviser to MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis what would your three key points for him to consider?

MSU vs Kansas Game Thread
Mar 19th, 2017 by Kindle

This was Tom Izzo’s 14th tournament win as an underdog. Nick Ward fouls on the opening tip and is promptly taken out of the game. 7 turnovers with less than 10 minutes gone and at one point Michigan State was down 12 points. But We know what Big Puddin’ can bring. He and his teammates did not disappoint.

Bill Self is not in Kansas anymore

The easy part of the NCAA Tournament is over for the Kansas Jayhawks.

We got through round one. That is great, have a beer and celebrate. Now the road to the Sweet 16 goes through Bill Self, Josh Jackson, and National Player of the Year hopeful: Frank Mason. Kansas did not mess around while beating UC Davis 100-62 in the first round. While this is not an unbeatable Kansas team (they lost 4 times this year), this is a team that is clicking and has some fire power. McQuaid is required to play a big role, Bridges is going to need to go off and Nick Ward is going to have to do what he does: Shoot some ridiculous FG% and get the opponent to foul him.

Kansas versus Michigan State might’ve been a predictable Final Four match-up in past tournaments.   The freshman-dominated Spartans (20-14) are now the No. 9 seed in the Midwest and college basketball fans get a blue-blood battle in the second round.   TUS members want to believe the Jayhawks have to feel at least a little uneasy about it, especially if they watched any of Michigan State’s first-round victory over eighth-seeded Miami when we shrugged off that early 12 point deficit, made a 23 point swing and took an eleven point lead into the locker room at halftime.  Then we began the second half on an 8-2 run and refused to let Miami back in the contest.

We are told that Jayhawks coach Bill Self allowed himself a peek ahead at the bracket.

Self was supposedly unnerved by what he saw, or making sure not to give future opponents any bulletin-board material.

“You look at that potential match-up if you advance past the first game of Miami and Michigan State and you say, ‘Didn’t Miami beat Duke?'” Self said. “And then you look at Michigan State and you say, ‘Hasn’t he been to seven or eight Final Fours?’ So I personally didn’t feel a ton of comfort or warm feelings by seeing that. It’s a hard first weekend without question.”

Kansas is led by senior guard Frank Mason III, who paced the Jayhawks with 22 points and eight assists in their first-round win. Mason is joined in the starting lineup by senior forward Landen Lucas and junior guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

And then there’s Kansas freshman Josh Jackson, who could be the X factor in the Jayhawks-Spartans contest.

Jackson had an alley-oop dunk and a spectacular drive to the basket for a layup that ignited Kansas midway through the first half against UC Davis.

By late Friday night, Izzo was already singing praises about Jackson, a Detroit native. But it’s clear the entire Jayhawks team has Izzo’s attention as well.

“Unfortunately, there’s a buzz saw in front of us, but we’ve had that all year,” Izzo said. “Might as well do it one more time.”

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Ninth-seeded Michigan State meets top-seeded Kansas in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, a match-up of traditional heavyweights.

The winner will earn a spot in the Sweet 16, where it will face Purdue on Thursday. The Boilermakers beat Iowa State, 80-76, on Saturday and handily defeated Michigan State twice during the regular season.

Game Time?

Tip-off at the BOK Center is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ET and CBS will broadcast the Midwest Region game. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and Kansas coach Bill Self will face off for the first time since 2014. Izzo owns a 4-2 record against Self.

Television not working?

The NCAA will stream the game on March Madness Live.

It is also on Sirius 136/XM 202 and http://www.spartansportsnetwork.com/

Who are the announcers for Michigan State-Kansas basketball?

Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play for CBS, while Reggie Miller and Dan Bonner will provide analysis. Dana Jacobson will report from the sideline. Will Tieman will handle play-by-play alongside analyst Matt Steigenga on the Spartan Sports Network.

Contain Frank Mason III

Tum Tum Nairn has been Michigan State’s best option defensively at point guard … but Cassius Winston just brings another element offensively. The Spartans need Winston on the floor as much as possible. The question becomes whether he can stick with Mason, Kansas’ National Player of the Year candidate. Mason can create for himself and others, and he’s got one of the most lethal strokes in the country at 48.4-percent shooting from deep.

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Sunday night is approaching, get ready to see the Josh Jackson vs Miles Bridges match-up.

300 for a Spartan
Mar 18th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Coach Jake Boss Jr. has so much respect in college sports and general that he was willing to pose with The Usual Suspects.

Michigan State University Baseball Head Coach Jake Boss Jr. earned his 300th career victory as the Spartans blasted the University of Richmond Spiders 13-4 on Saturday at Pitt Field in the Capitol city of the State of Virginia. MSU sits at 12-4 in 2017 and ranked #8 nationally in the RPI. In nine seasons under Boss, the MSU baseball program operates with great success in terms of respect, win-loss percentage, and national standing presence.

A full report on the game is [here].

NCAA Basketball Tournament – Double Dandy Gamethread
Mar 17th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

It Is Friday March 17th.  MSU Men’s and Women’s squads are playing in the tourney.  Key leadership (or lack thereof) is having too much fun in Richmond VA and forgot to assign game preview roles.  So this is it.

Women: 7:25 Pm (EDT) ESPN Network

Men: 9:20 PM (EDT) TNT

Note: Pitt field and University of Richmond is wonderful.  I want to go here for a PHD in some discipline.  I am hoping Uncle USMC(retired) will cover my tuition.

Crisp Pitching in Crisp Air – MSU Takes Opener in Richmond Baseball Classic
Mar 17th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

MSU’s Riley McCauley throws a breaking ball – resulting in a swing and a miss to close out the game.

Behind smart, and at times, dominating pitching the Spartans of Michigan State (10-4) edged the Campbell Camels (7-11) 3-1 in the morning game of day one in the Richmond (VA) Classic.

The Usual Suspects (TUS) Senior Executive Management observed the game in-person after conducting closed hearings on the future of all members currently on double-secret probation.  “despite claims of material violation, no evidence has been provided to force a change in membership status for the individuals involved,” said Compliance Chairperson GoSt8Go from TUS Richmond offices.  “I cannot confirm or deny BostonSpartan needed the luck-of-the-Irish on this day to maintain good standing”.

MSU takes on host Richmond Spiders tomorrow at 2PM (EDT).  The Spiders beat Cornell 8-7.

Spartan pitchers were on top of their game from start-to-finish in a game played under clear skies and temperatures in the 30’s at the 10AM start..  Lefty Alex Croop baffled the Camels (and sometimes the home plate umpire) with a mixture of pitches that exhibited significant movement. Croop stuck out 10 in five innings.  TUS Charter Member IBelieve held vigil for a Pitch-Count Free event.  MSU Head Coach Jake Boss replaced Croop with Junior Jake Lowery at 100 pitches.  IBelieve has requested TUS investigate.  Lowery struck out eight of the 12 batters he faced – including the side in the bottom of the eighth.  Lowery walked off the field calmly after his last pitch with a well-deserved air of confidence.

The Spartans broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth when shortstop Royce Ando doubled down left-field line with runners on 2nd 3rd base. The hit was of blistering fashion hitting the ground just inside the base at 3rd. Ando almost accomplished the same result a few pitches earlier in the at-bat.  The difference in the two swings on a similarly located inside pitch appeared to be that Ando kept his hands inside of the ball while swinging through the pitch.

The full report and box score at MSUSpartans is located [here].

Sitting on Your Hands Sunday (and Monday)?
Mar 12th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Today, Sunday March 12th, 2017 is known in american college basketball circles as Selection Sunday.  The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) through its Tournament Committee selects, seeds, and brackets 68 teams in the field for the Men’s NCAA Tournament. The ten member committee consists of school and conference administrators that are nominated by their conference, serve five-year terms and represent a cross-section of the Division I membership.  Michigan State’s Mark Hollis is Chairman of the Committee.

A similar event for the women occurs tomorrow using the same structure. Terry Gawlik, Associate Athletic Director of Wisconsin is the Chairman of the Committee.

TUS Membership has become accustomed to the men and women teams qualifying, making deep a run, making the final four, and even playing for the national title in the tournament.  The MSU Men have qualified 19 seasons in a row (3rd active streak and 4th best in college history).  The MSU Women have qualified 8 of the last 10 seasons.  Not bad for a cow college!

The 2016-2017 season is different.  Both teams have material flaws, have not played to standards of which TUS Membership is accustomed, did not fair as well as normal in the W-L column and been part of the “On-The- Bubble” conversation.  In February news reports surfaced that TUS had launched a Special Investigation into Russian Interference of Spartan basketball (headed by Eyeore).  Upon questioning about the existence of such an investigation TUS Compliance Officer GoSt8Go stated “I cannot comment on such things, even if it involves confirming if MSU Beachwalker actually walks on a beach.”

While most Talking Heads and Bracketologists  project each MSU squad making the dance, what is the opinion of this group?  Tell us if each of our teams are on the dance card, and if so what seed, and who and where they will play in the first game?

MSU vs Minnesota Game Thread
Mar 10th, 2017 by Kindle

Michigan State guard Miles Bridges (22) dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Big Ten tournament against Penn State,

With a 78-51 win against Penn State yesterday, our Spartans reached the BIG Tourney quarterfinals for the 20th year in a row, or every year that the Big Ten has held a tournament.  Yesterday’s win also removed any doubt that MSU will make its 20th straight NCAA tournament appearance.

Minnesota, conversely, will get its first taste of the quarters in three years when it takes the court in Washington, D.C., at the Verizon Center on Friday against Michigan State.  This time, the Gophers didn’t even have to play their way into it. Big Ten Coach of the Year Richard Pitino led them to an 11-7 conference record and double-bye with a fourth-place finish — their highest seed ever in the tournament.

With but one healthy senior and four freshmen playing key roles for MSU, MLive’s Kyle Austin claims Tom Izzo had a message he delivered with extra vigor, through two-hour practices on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Careless mistakes and sloppy play can end the season, the coach supposedly drilled into his young team over and over again.  Seniors, both healthy and hurt, delivered speeches of the importance of the postseason mentality. Former players were tasked with calling the Spartans’ freshmen to do the same.  Yesterday it appeared the message was received.

Michigan State basketball vs. Minnesota game time, details

Time: 25 minutes after Michigan-Purdue; approximately 2:30 p.m. ET

Date: Friday, March 10

Location: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

Which TV channel broadcasts Michigan State basketball vs. Minnesota?

The game airs on ESPN.

How can I watch Michigan State basketball vs. Minnesota online?

ESPN will stream the game from WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.

Who is calling the Michigan State basketball vs. Minnesota game?

Dave Flemming will handle play-by-play for ESPN, while Dan Dakich will provide analysis. Will Tieman will handle play-by-play alongside analyst Matt Steigenga on the Spartan Sports Network

Delayed Start Time/Approx 3PM–MSU vs PSU Game Thread
Mar 9th, 2017 by Kindle

The Michigan State-Penn State match-up Thursday will likely be a perimeter battle.

Our 5th seeded Spartans open up play in the Big Ten tournament (full schedule) against the 13th seeded Nittany Lions, who defeated Nebraska in the first round Wednesday, 76-67, in overtime. The Nittany Lions bested the Spartans, 72-63, in the teams’ lone meeting Jan. 7 at the Palestra in Philadelphia. …  … The winner moves to the quarterfinals to face No. 4 Minnesota on Friday at around 2:25. … This game originally was scheduled to start around 2:25 but the game before it, Michigan vs. Illinois, was pushed back 20 minutes because of the Wolverines’ travel issues, which you have no doubt heard plenty on by now.

REVENGE:

Michigan State and Penn State faced off just once during the regular season, a 72-63 neutral-site win for the Nittany Lions at the Palestra in Philadelphia on Jan. 7.  Spartans coach Tom Izzo seemed to be anticipating a victory today when he spoke at his Tuesday news conference.  Let’s hope he heeds GoSt8Go’s advice and plays it 40 minutes at a time with no looking ahead to Minnesota tomorrow.

Location: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.

Which TV channel broadcasts Michigan State basketball vs. Penn State?

The game airs on the Big Ten Network.

How can I watch Michigan State basketball vs. Penn State online?

BTN will stream the game from BTN2Go and the BTN2Go app.

How can I listen to Michigan State basketball vs. Penn State on the radio?

For Michigan State, the game can be heard on radio over the 38-affiliate Spartan Sports Network, including flagship stations WMMQ-FM (94.9)/WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing and WJR-AM (760) in Detroit. It is also on Sirius 135/XM 195.  Best link for out-of-staters who can’t get BTN Network is http://www.spartansportsnetwork.com/ ~~~or simply find a goods sports bar.

Kevin Kugler will handle play-by-play for BTN, while Jon Crispin will provide analysis. Will Tieman will handle play-by-play alongside analyst Matt Steigenga on the Spartan Sports Network.

Take care of the ball

This talking point won’t go away just because Michigan State posted a season-low 8 turnovers against Maryland on Saturday. Now the Spartans face one of the Big Ten’s tougher perimeter defenses, a team that averages 6.9 steals per game. When these teams met on Jan. 7, Michigan State turned the ball over 17 times against the aggressive Nittany Lions. Now that it’s one-and-done season, Izzo’s team can’t afford that many missed opportunities on offense.

 

Details of Michigan’s accident: The pilot ‘saved our lives,’ Derrick Walton Jr. got stitches, more

53m53 minutes ago

Kyle Austin Retweeted Andy Katz

ESPN reports MSU and Penn State were willing to flip to the noon game, but Michigan opted to stay in same time slot.

 

Chris Solari Retweeted Mark Dantonio

Today is also ‘s birthday.

 

Graham Couch estimates there are about 7,000 in attendance.  Unknown at this point what % are Spartan fans.

 

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