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Trip to the Final Four in WVB and Attempting to Stay Focused in MBB: Match & Game Threads
Dec 9th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Alyssa Garvelink (17), Holly Toliver (18) and Rachel Minarick (12) help lead MSU to the Elite Eight.

It is a busy Saturday in early December for MSU Athletics.  It also appears Saturday is date night for TUS members; including one who appears to have become smitten with a Alabama SEC Belle. It my understanding TUS Compliance is reviewing regulations on the latter.

The Women’s Volleyball team is the headliner as they try to earn a trip to the NCAA Final Four in Volleyball tonight [8PM ET ESPNU). Standing in the #12 Spartans way is the #1 Nitany Lions (32-1).  The NCAA Regional Final is being held on Penn State’s home court in State College.  MSU will have to play near perfect if it is to advance.  MSU is 7-44 all-time and 0-7 in its last matches.  The Spartans lost 3-1 in each of this season’s matches.  However, both were close with MSU having many chances to steal the victory in each contest.

The Women’s and Men’s Basketball squads are playing the 3rd (of 5) Home double-headers.  The Spartan ladies (5-3) take on Rhode Island (1-7) (2:00PM ET BTN+).  The #3 Spartan Men (7-1) take on Southern Utah (5-3) (6PM ET BTN).

MSU – Rutgers Game Thread (as proposed by USMC Retired)
Dec 5th, 2017 by 89 Chemistry

USMC Retired [December 5th, 2017; 1:54 pmat] writes: 

 

Michigan State’s early Big Ten slate wraps up tonight with a road trip to Rutgers.   I think it’s beneficial to have the 1st roady @Rutgers, but we’ll see.

The No. 3 Spartans thumped Nebraska 86-57 Sunday night, while the Scarlet Knights (6-2, 0-1) are coming off an 89-67 loss @Minnesota.   Tonight is just the sixth game in the series, which MSU leads 5-0

Michigan State resumes Big Ten play on Jan. 4 against Maryland.

When: 7 p.m. ET, Dec. 5, 2017

Where: Piscataway, N.J.

TV: Big Ten Network

Commentators: Dave Revsine (play-by-play), Jon Crispin (supposed analyst)

 

PROJECTED STARTERS

Michigan State (Head coach Tom Izzo, 5 foot 9, 180-pound old guy – 23rd season)

G: #5 Cassius Winston (6-foot, 185-pound sophomore)

G: #1 Joshua Langford (6-foot-5, 210-pound sophomore)

G/F: #22 Miles Bridges (6-foot-7, 225-pound sophomore)

F: #2 Jaren Jackson Jr.. (6-foot-11, 242-pound freshman)

F: #44 Nick Ward (6-foot-8, 245-pound sophomore)

 

Rutgers (Head coach Steve Pikiell, unk – 2nd season)

G: #0 Geo Baker (6-foot-4, 180-pound freshman)

G: #3 Corey Sanders (6-foot-2, 176-pound junior)

G/F: #35 Issa Thiam (6-foot-10, 190-pound sophomore)

F: #33 Deshawn Freeman (6-foot-7, 227-pound senior)

F/C: #21 Mamadou Doucoure (6-foot-9, 243-pound freshman)

#5 Notre Dame at #3 MSU Game Thread—by USMCRetired
Nov 30th, 2017 by Kindle

For just the third time in program history, Michigan State basketball will host a meeting between two top-five teams Thursday night when the No. 3 Spartans take on No. 5 Notre Dame to close out the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The ACC has already locked up this year’s Challenge by going 11-2 so far, with the Big Ten’s only wins coming from Purdue against Louisville and Nebraska over Boston College. MSU will look to end things on a good note for the Big Ten against the one of two ACC teams in the top five (No. 1 Duke).

For the Spartans, Thursday night marks the third game against a top-10 team in less than two weeks. Michigan State lost to No. 1 Duke 88-81 in the Champions Classic on Nov. 14 but beat then No. 9 North Carolina, which steamrolled Michigan on Wednesday, 63-45 to win the Victory Bracket of the Phil Knight Invitational on Sunday in Portland.

The last time MSU played a top-five matchup at Breslin Center, the No. 5 Spartans beat No. 3 Ohio State on Jan. 7, 2014 behind a late 3-pointer and 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds from Keith Appling. Michigan State’s last game against Notre Dame came the following season, when MSU went to South Bend and lost 79-78 in overtime as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Thursday will be 96th meeting between the two programs, but it will be the first in East Lansing since 1974.

Memory Lane/Those were The Days:

It’s also just the second matchup between the two schools since 1979, when Magic Johnson (19 points, 13 assists) and Greg Kelser (34 points, 13 rebounds) led the Spartans to an 80-68 win in the NCAA tournament.

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Here’s everything else you need to know for tonight’s game.

When: 7 p.m. ET, Nov. 30, 2017

Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.

TV: ESPN

Stream: WatchESPN

Commentators: Karl Ravech (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst), Seth Greenberg (sidelines)

Listen: Spartan Sports Network (Affiliates), Spartan Sports Network Mobile App

Vegas: Michigan State -6 (138 O/U)

PROJECTED STARTERS

Michigan State (Head coach Tom Izzo – 23rd season)

G: #5 Cassius Winston (6-foot, 185-pound sophomore)

G: #1 Joshua Langford (6-foot-5, 210-pound sophomore)

G/F: #22 Miles Bridges (6-foot-7, 225-pound sophomore)

F: #2 Jaren Jackson Jr.. (6-foot-11, 242-pound freshman)

F: #44 Nick Ward (6-foot-8, 245-pound sophomore)

Notre Dame (Head coach Mike Brey – 18th season)

G: #5 Matt Farrell (6-foot-1, 175-pound senior)

G: #10 TJ Gibbs (6-foot-3, 188-pound sophomore)

G: #0 Rex Pflueger (6-foot-6, 206-pound junior)

F: #35 Bonzie Colson (6-foot-6, 224-pound senior)—(Their best player)

F: #23 Martinas Geben (6-foot-10, 252-pound senior)

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Additional info from Matt Hoeppner~~~

Interior Defense

Michigan State is leading the nation in opponent’s two-point field goals. The Spartans are holding teams to just 33.9% shooting inside the arc. That is almost a full three percent better than the next closest team. That is an absolutely insane number. And it’s one that is skewed because of the easier opponents on MSU’s schedule. Here is how teams have fared on two-pointers against the Spartans.

Improved Shooting

Something else we saw come to life in Portland was the Spartans outside shooting. For the tournament, MSU went 28-for-67 from behind the arc, a very nice 41.8 percent. They hit double digit three’s in two of the three games.

They also didn’t just shoot threes. They averaged about 22 three-point attempts per game, which feels like a reasonable number for this team. They are below the average nationally of percentage of shots that they take that are threes and the percentage of their total points that come from threes. That number can probably come up a little and be right about the national average.

Too Many Turnovers

One area that remains a negative for Michigan State is the turnovers. MSU is now 304th with a 22.8% turnover rate. They turned it over an incredible 24 times against UNC and still managed to win by 18 points. They only had eight against UConn, but had 15 against DePaul.

All in all MSU has turned it over at least 14 times in five of their six games. They have two games with 20+ turnovers. The UConn game is the only one where MSU didn’t have double digit turnovers.  ( Last year’s team turned the ball over at a 20.5% clip. )

Colson’s their guy:

ND’s Bonzie Colson ranks second in KenPom’s player of the year ratings. Colson is averaging 20 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He’s also blocking more than two shots per contest.  Colson does most of his work inside, where he shoots close to 64%, but he can also step out and hit the occasional three pointer (4-13 on the year). He’s also a very good free throw shooter at better than 77% for his career. He gets there quite often too.

MSU should have enough bodies to throw at Colson, although this could be a game where Jackson ends up on the bench often with foul trouble. That would require Schilling and Carter to step up.

The perimeter players will be interesting, especially Gibbs. At 6-3, 188lbs. Gibbs shouldn’t be a size issue for Langford or McQuaid, but they will need to keep him from going off like Grayson Allen did against them. You can’t expect Notre Dame to shoot 1-for-18 from three like North Carolina did.

MSU vs UNC Game Thread
Nov 26th, 2017 by Kindle

 

Michigan State vs. North Carolina Tonight

TEAM PPG PA FG% RPG APG BPG SPG STRK

92.8 73.6 49.4 44.6 19.0 4.6 5.4 W5

84.4 66.6 52.3 40.2 19.2 6.8 5.2 W3

GAME INFORMATION 
Who: No. 4 Michigan State (4-1) vs. No. 9 North Carolina (5-0)
When: 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
TV: ESPN
Radio: Spartan Sports Network, WJIM-AM (1240)/WMMQ-FM (94.9) in Lansing, WJR-AM (760) in Detroit
Line: Michigan State -2
Twitter: Follow Kyle Austin

The Spartans are coming off a 20-15 season that ended in a loss to Kansas in the Round of 32. Ranked second nationally to enter the season, Michigan State has a couple of cupcake blowouts sandwiched around a loss to No. 1 Duke. The Spartans were picked as the preseason Big Ten winner by the conference’s coaches.  MSU’s best player is still recovering from a sprained ankle and, thus, Miles Bridges is the wild card for MSU in this game.

In the previous thread Jersey John noted the following: “announcers for tonight’s hoops game are roxy Bernstein and bill Walton. never heard of her and I don’t recall Walton ever doing a Spartan game. I predict I will hate them both by games end.”  (A general discussion followed with a majority agreeing on all points except for Roxy’s gender)

UNC PLAYERS: Luke Maye is Carolina’s first player to score 100 points (106) and grab 50 rebounds (54) in a season’s first five games since Antawn Jamison in 1996-97.  This guy can score from any situation on the floor.  He is a Wooden Award Watch Candidate along with teammate Joel Berry.  You will also hear Kenny Williams and Theo Pinsons’ names called tonight.

More on Luke Maye: “A year ago, Luke Maye was an undersized forward buried on the depth chart behind future NBA players Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Tony Bradley. Maye was one of the wholesale substitutions Roy Williams would use to prove a point when his starting five wasn’t playing well.  But then March happened. Maye was the Most Outstanding Player of the South Regional after posting a double-double against Butler and netting the game-winner against Kentucky. Now, after dropping career highs in points (28) and rebounds (16) against Arkansas, Maye is a legitimate National Player of the Year candidate.”

* This will be the 16th meeting in the history of the two schools. North Carolina has won 12 of the 15 games overall, including seven straight. Tom Izzo is 2-10 against the Tar Heels. In the last meeting, an unranked North Carolina team beat No. 1 Michigan State in December, 2013.

* Michigan State has now advanced to the championship game of its preseason tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. Two of those times, the Spartans have won the tournament: the 2013 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and the 2015 Wooden Legacy.

* Michigan State has lost five straight games against teams in the AP Top 10, dating back to its 2016-17 season-opener. Its last win over an AP Top 10 team was in January, 2016 against Maryland.

* North Carolina beat Arkansas, 87-68, in a semifinal game to qualify for the championship game. Junior forward Luke Maye notched career-highs in points (28) and rebounds (16).

* Spartans forward Miles Bridges returned from a one-game absence due to a sprained ankle in Michigan State’s semifinal win over Connecticut. He played 17 minutes in the game.

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Some will say this is merely an early season test or measuring stick; that it’s what happens in March that really matters, and will shrug off a loss at this juncture.

Shrug if you will, but there is no denying that it is important to win a game like this.  Such wins are what helps to ensure a team gets a coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. Experts feel that seed is “most important in helping better ensure a team advances to the Sweet 16 and possibly the Elite 8 before really playing a team that has the likelihood of matching up well.”

GO GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two Topics for One: Lack of Depth on the Bench and MSU Men’s Basketball Gamethread (Stoney Brook)
Nov 19th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Topic #1:  Lack of Depth on the Bench.

MSU’s victory in College Football left a lot to be desired.  However a win-is-a-win and there should be no discounting the Spartans turn-around.  Go Green!

However, can the broadcast networks be doing a poorer job of providing sportscasters and commentators for these regional\national contests? And the half-time talent?  Big names with little-to-no background covering and commenting on the college game.

Let us put the subject of bias off to the side.  Way off to the side!

Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman were about as bad as it gets.  Both were ill-prepared. Their game-call was mistake-ridden from start to finish.  It would probably be easier to count the number of times a play sequence did not include some type of announcing error.  And hey,wasn’t it great that MSU Alum Holly Sonders was the field reporter!  Did we get a report from the field? Seriously! Other than the self engrandizing “coming home” half-time segment, did Holly actually make a report from the field while the game was in progress?  Holly covers golf (with a good deal of competence).  College football?  Shame on you FOX!

As we are all aware, the issue is not isolated to this game or FOX.  What has happened?  Not enough money left-over after the payment to the conferences to hire good talent?  Too many games broadcast and not enough time for preparation?  Potential Announcers know that USMC(retired) and JerseyJohn are going to offer public ridicule so they have chosen another profession?  For example, where are the days of ABC Wide World of Sports and Jim McKay, Bill Flemming, and Chris Schenkel.  Gosh, Chris Schenkel’s call made bowling exciting! Do I have Rose Colored Glasses on this topic?

Topic #2: MSU Men’s Basketball Gamethread (Stoney Brook)

The Spartans take on Stoney Brook.  The Seawolves play in the American East Conference.  They are 0-3 so far this year – losing all games by double-digits.

If you are saying to yourself “hey why I am thinking Stoney Brook as being a pretty good team.”  Stoney Brook used to be a good team.  The Seawolves jumped into Division 1 basketball at the turn-of-the century (gosh that sounds weird).  Coach Steve Pikiell was retained soon after and Stoney Brook starting winning at a high-level.  From 2009-2016 Stoney Brook almost always finished around 22 and something, play in the American East Conference Title Game (usually losing to Vermont) and go to the NIT\CBI.  In 2016 Stoney Brook won the American East Title and made the NCAA Tournament – losing to Kentucky as #13 seed.  Pikiell was hired by Rutgers.  Jeff Boals left his position as an Assistant Coach at the Ohio State and was named Head Coach at Stoney Brook last season.  The Seawolves finished 17-12.

The Seawolves lost 76-61 (in Uniondale NY) to the team representing the heritage of Henrietta Maria of France and Queen Consort of England and Ireland.

All Smiles on MSU and Miles
Nov 6th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The regular season for men’s college basketball at Michigan State begins Friday night against North Florida in East Lansing.

The Spartans and Sophomore Miles Bridges are the media darlings to start the 2017/18 season.  Only Duke (aka DUCK according to TH) tops MSU in love from the media. Most of TUS Membership winces (in discomfort) when the MEDIA looks favorably on MSU.  On these rare occasions, JJ is known to start looking for places to hide (witness protection programs, etc) so as not to jinx the Green & White.

MSU and Bridges are the headliners for today’s MBB launch on ESPN [here].  Ironically the lead story by Carvell Wallace is different than most of the ESPN hype.  It is actually a rather “deep” long format piece.  It is worth the reading.

The Associated Press came out with its pre-season All American Team [here].  Miles garnered the most votes.  So favored is Miles, that he led voting by a double digit margin – for only the 3rd time in the history of the AP.

As most of you know – I do not like the media hype.  Because if there are any bumps in the road during the course of the regular season – unneeded noise and drama usually occur – to exacerbate the situation.  If things go swimmingly – then the Media attention and pressure to win it all get even greater.  I hope this MSU squad can successfully weather to attention and make the Final Four.  However this is challenging for any team.

Football Notes:

Good news… no GREAT NEWS.  MSU is a 14.5 to 15.5 point underdog for Saturday’s game.  ODDShark has MSU losing by 18 (40-22).

I hope that MSU Head Coach Mike DEAntoni, his three legged dog JustABum, and his young over-matched team can find transportation down to Columbus for the schooling by the Acorns.

Weather Forecast:  Cloudy High 44 degrees. It is supposed to rain Sunday.  Encourage the weather system to speed up so that is rains during the game.

Uncommon
Apr 14th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

un·com·mon
ˌənˈkämən adjective
  1. out of the ordinary; unusual.
    “lack of self-awareness is not uncommon for a person under the age of 19.”

It appears that Miles Bridges an 18 year-old student at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan is uncommon for an individual with his skill-set.

While most college-students are seeking to identify their career-path, Bridges appears to have a pretty good idea of what will be his first professional occupation.  People who make hiring decisions for employment in Bridges likely field of work, indicate Miles is ready for the next step.  People who would benefit financially (directly and indirectly) from Bridges seeking professional employment in the near-team (aka this month) also like the idea of Miles leaving school and securing that first paycheck.

As a matter of public-record, Miles has determined he likes college, and college life at Michigan State University. Bridges would like to enjoy this time of his life and not rush into his professional career.  Miles also thinks he can materially improve upon the skills needed for his professional career by staying in college.  Miles also wants to be a contributor – if not the leader – in adding to the legacy of his University in a positive manner.

Yes, we all know about the downsides of the choices Miles has made including all the negative blather generated by Media Talking Heads.  Hey, it is possible Miles could be the recipient of a MOAB bomb courtesy of the U.S. military.

However, if the choices Miles has made recently come to full fruition the implication is he will improve his skill set, gain additional mental preparation for post-college life, be recognized as a National Champion, be one the first five persons hired in his chosen professional, double his starting salary (e.g., selected #10 – #18 in 2017 versus #1-#5 in 2018), and best of all enjoy what Michigan State University offers – establishing life long friends, additional education on a variety of fronts, and possibly experiencing a couch burning.

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.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

MSU vs Maryland Game Thread–2pm BTN
Mar 4th, 2017 by Kindle

 

Michigan State basketball at Maryland: Game time, TV channel and how to watch online

Going into Saturday’s regular-season finale, Michigan State (18-12, 10-7 Big Ten) has the satisfaction of knowing its fate is in its own hands.

Win at Maryland (23-7, 11-6), and the Spartans grab third place in the Big Ten. Lose, and they miss out on the coveted double bye in the Big Ten Tournament by finishing as low as seventh in the standings.

The Terrapins would guarantee themselves a third-place finish with a win. However, they could also earn a double bye even with a loss, provided that struggling Wisconsin beats surging Minnesota on Sunday.

Basically, a lot rides on the outcome, particularly for Michigan State, which would all but secure an NCAA Tournament berth with a win. That would require getting the job done away from home, though, which the Spartans have done just once in seven tries this calendar year.

Maryland, though, has looked vulnerable at Xfinity Center, losing three of its last four. Senior day will serve as a crucial opportunity to get back on track before the postseason, should they take it.

Michigan State basketball vs. Maryland game time, details

Time: 2 p.m. ET

Date: Saturday, March 4

Location: Xfinity Center, College Park, Md.

Which TV channel broadcasts Michigan State basketball vs. Maryland?

The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.

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

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

How can I listen to Michigan State basketball vs. Maryland 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.

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

Kevin Kugler will handle play-by-play for BTN with Jon Crispin providing analysis. Will Tieman handles play-by-play with analyst Matt Steigenga on the Spartan Sports Network.

Michigan State basketball vs. Maryland 3 keys

Stay in front

So much on Saturday will depend on Michigan State’s ability to defend without requiring too much help from teammates, and to do so without fouling. Led by Melo Trimble, Maryland likes to slash to the basket at every opportunity, which could create problems. Michigan State looks best offensively with Cassius Winston at point guard, but if he can’t contain Trimble, the Spartans may have to stick with Tum Tum Nairn.

Should Trimble be able to get by his initial defender and draw help, he knows how to find his shooters, and Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter know how to knock down outside shots. Michigan State’s trouble defending dribble drives led to countless open looks against Illinois, and that can’t happen again if the Spartans hope to come away victorious.

Don’t succumb to the crowd

For the second game in a row, Michigan State will face a raucous senior day crowd. Maryland tends to be one of the rowdiest venues in the Big Ten. With such a young team, Michigan State has often struggled to deal with dwindling momentum on the road. Opponents make a run and Michigan State responds not by running crisp offensive sets, but by turning the ball over.

When Maryland inevitably goes on a run and gets the home crowd going, Michigan State must either utilize its timeouts better or rely on the calming influence of a point guard to make sure it gets good shots on the offensive end and doesn’t lose focus.

Crash the glass

This has been a huge factor the past several games. Michigan State has played some of the best defensive rebounding teams in the conference and found a way to give itself second chances, despite giving up several inches of height to just about every opponent.

Now the Spartans take on the second-worst defensive rebounding team (by percentage) in the Big Ten. This looks like a perfect opportunity for wings like Miles Bridges and Josh Langford to go after any and all missed shots. Points never seem easy to come by for the Spartans on the road. Grabbing offensive rebounds will allow a greater margin for error.

 

 

 

Important?? Notes:

 

  • Michigan State has won 3 in a row over Maryland.

  • Since 2009 Michigan State is is 47-17 (.734) in March.
  • Matt McQuade is on pace to shatter NCAA record for pump fakes. Fake news report below–enjoy.
  • http://theblacksheeponline.com/michigan-state/matt-mcquaid-pace-shatter-ncaa-record-pump-fakes
Game Post for MSU Men’s Basketball Game: March 1,2017
Mar 1st, 2017 by 89 Chemistry

If I might interrupt: MSU is at Illinois tonight; TV coverage starts at 9 PM ET on BTN.

While Members may be impressed with what they saw Sunday, bettors at large apparently are not.   Las Vegas is standing pat on its over/under of a 68-67 Illini victory.   The official preview is here:
http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/022817aad.html

The first two of these other previews predict V4MSU:
http://www.theonlycolors.com/2017/3/1/14763000/basketball-preview-illinois
http://michiganstate.247sports.com/Bolt/Game-Info-How-to-watch-Michigan-State-at-Illinois-game-pick-51546562
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/college/michigan-state-university/2017/02/28/msu-looks-keep-momentum-going-vs-surging-illinois/98542472/
http://www.mlive.com/spartans/index.ssf/2017/03/michigan_state_at_illinois_spa.html#incart_river_index

 

Other links of possible Member interest include this one recently provided by 79 Spartan,

http://isportsweb.com/2017/03/01/michigan-state-basketball-miles-bridges-return-next-season/

and this report of an embed with B1G referees:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-two-days-with-big-ten-referees-spt-0303-20170302-story.html

 

GO GREEN!

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