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College Basketball National Championship Thread
Apr 2nd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

As for college basketball March is over, but maybe not the madness. We have reached the National Championship Final. Today it is the ladies and tomorrow the men.

 

Other items of note for TUS Membership.

  • Guard Tori Jankoska received All-American Honorable Mention over the week for those that missed it.  Hmmm… 15 players better than Jankoska?  Really?
  • The MSU Baseball team lost to Minnesota 9-4 in East Lansing.  The Spartans (15-10) swept by the Gophers (18-8).  I knew Minnesota was good but I truly thought MSU would at minimum take the series and possibly sweep.  Good thing I only bet some of the Marine’s golf winnings and not my own.
  • The Spartan Women’s Softball Team won all three games against Maryland in East Lansing.  Granted Maryland (7-26-1 0-6) is not much this season, but the series sweep is encouraging. MSU (19-11 3-3) has not had a winning season since 2007 and went  winless in the B1G in 2012 (0-23).
  • Going into the last round of the Clemson Invitational MSU’s Womens’s Golf Team stands in fifth place at -1 PAR.  MSU’s Sarah Burnham is 8th overall.
  • Yesterday GoSt8Go successfully completed his first competitive race at the 10K distance (Monument Ave.).  I propose TUS change his name to Run GoSt8Go Run.

Who do you think will win the basketball games?  And what about those Tigers?

Read the rest of this entry »

Mixed Bag Saturday Thread: Spring Game to Final Four
Apr 1st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Saturday April 1st,  2017.  Is it time for April Fools pranks?  Not on this post, as there is way too much going on in TUSland.

  1.  No Joke, the empire known at UConn Women is over.  The streak of 110 games and 4 straight National Titles is caput.  Read [here].  12 Months and five days after losing by 60 points to UConn (in the 2016 Sweet 16) Mississippi State made up all those points, plus 2 more to dethrone the national champs in the 2017 Women’s Final Four game on Friday night.
  2. After 12 practices in a less than upbeat light hearted environment the Michigan State University football team conducts its Spring football game.  Gametime is 3PM (EDT) and the event is open to the public and will be broadcast on BTN.  The game is to be conducted almost a month earlier than normal. The normally quiet and close-to-the-vest Head coach Mark Dantonio has been almost silent.  Given the criminal investigations (and subsequent suspensions) of MSU football players and staff all following a 3-9 season a cloud hangs over MSU.
  3. Down the street and starting 5 minutes later positive vibes are likely reverberate as the Spartan baseball team (15-6 3-0) takes on highly regarded Minnesota (15-8 3-0) on Kobs Field at McLane Stadium.  The game (3:05 PM EDT) is available on TV at BTNToGo and radio on SpartanSportsNetwork.  More information is [here]
  4. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four resumes with the two National Semi-Final contests (CBS). #7 South Carolina vs. #1 Gonzaga tips off at 6:09 PM EDT. Approximately 30 after the end of the first game #3 Oregon takes on #1 North Carolina (eta 8:49 PM EDT).
  5. If the South Carolina Men’s team (a 7.5 point underdog) can win today; both the Men’s and Women’s squad will play in the National Title. In comments on previous posts Intrepid reporter USMC(retired) indicated there was bedlam in Columbia S.C. Oh, and to think it is has been 12 years since East Lansing experienced the same.
  6. The Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball finish their spring training season today in Miami FLA against the Marlins.  The past 10 seasons have been heady ones for the Tigers and their fans (of which Linda, Jeff, Kyle, Shae dog, Merry [Christmas] dog count as 5).  Those days seem to moving the status as “the past”.  However, at least Justin Verlander has returned to top form and life with Kate Upton is a “Perfect fit.”  See [here].
  7. No need to mention details about the Pistons or the Red Wings as that is too much negative ju-ju in one post.
  8. I think I now know how Eyeore feels after completing a post or comment.
  9. Wait, wait, wait-a-moment!  Norkfork Rancher is doing something very cool. NFR is deep into researching/experiencing family roots this very day. I know it is non-sports related and in most respects a somber event… but would it be okay with TUS Membership for NFR (if willing) to post a story about it?
Elite Eight Sunday
Mar 26th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Gonzaga and Oregon are booked to play in the Men’s Final Four. Two more contests today!  On the Women’s side the Elite Eight games begin today

Yesterday on the MSU sports front

Spartan Softball lost to Purdue on a walk-off homer by the Boilermakers. The story is [here].

The #20 Spartan Women’s Crew traveled to multiple sites yesterday and the trip proved worth it. The story is [here]

Today on the MSU sports front
The #17 RPI Spartan Men’s baseball team (15-4, 2-0 B1G) look to sweep the Fighting Illini in Champaign in their 3 game series.  The game is at 3PM (EDT) and will be broadcast on BTN.  The preview is [here].

Today’s NCAA Basketball Games

Men

East Region: #7 South Carolina vs. #4 Florida. 2:20 PM (EDT) CBS. Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce.

South Region: #2 Kentucky vs. #1 North Carolina 5:05 PM (EDT) CBS. FEDEx Forum, Memphis, TN. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfeson.

Women

Lexington Regional: #2 Stanford vs. #1 Notre Dame. 10:00 AM (EDT) ESPN.

Oklahoma City Regional: #2 Mississippi State vs. #1 Baylor 7:30 PM (EDT) ESPN.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Elite Eight Thread
Mar 25th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Tools of Intimidation?

March Madness is down to eight teams.

The Schedule:

Saturday

West Region: #11 Xavier vs. #1 Gonzaga.  6:09 PM (EDT)  TBS.  SAP Center, San Jose, CA.  Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lewis Johnson.

Midwest Region: #3 Oregon vs. #1 Kansas.  8:49 PM (EDT)  TBS.  Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.  Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson.

Sunday

East Region: #7 South Carolina vs. #4 Florida.  2:20 PM (EDT)  CBS.  Madison Square Garden, New York, NY.  Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce.

South Region: #2 Kentucky vs. #1 North Carolina  5:05 PM (EDT)  CBS.  FEDEx Forum, Memphis, TN.  Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfeson.

So who is going the the final four?

There are also three important things for you to learn before the day ends!

Read More

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.

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.

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.

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?

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