Monday, March 30, 2009

To the Big Ten bashers: Bite me.
A wise man once said, in reference to the hub-ub about the Big East getting five teams into the Sweet 16, "The Big East might have five teams in, but it won't rule the Final Four. Two get in, at best - mark my words."

Okay, so really I'm not a wise man, but hey, I was right, so I can gloat a bit, can't I?

Yes, the Big East got two in the Final Four. Once was a given since the East Region finale paired Big East teams. But Syracuse got steamrolled in the Sweet 16 and Louisville got Spartan Slapped in the Elite Eight.

Thanks, by the way, for the congrats and well wishes from fellow Big Ten fans. My beloved Spartans are playing inspired ball and are carrying the "Big Ten sucks" chip on their shoulders. Let's see if we can put it to bed and bring home another title!

How it'll play out in Motown
I had Michigan State in my Final Four on my "sheet of integrity." It has me in first place in my pool. If only Pitt had won I'd be a cool 4-for-4 with the Final Four. But I digress.

Back when the brackets came out, I loved the draw for State. Frankly it is the first time I put MSU through to the Final Four in my "original" bracket since 2005. I also honestly had MSU bowing out to UConn in the Semis. But now I'm not so sure.

When I look at this team, I see multiple people stepping up. Raymar off his game or hurt, no worries - DeDe to the rescue. Need a big shot from outside to stem the tide? Allen and Summers have been as consistent as they've been all season. Need a few minutes to spell Suton? Send in Gray or Ibok. Got to have a big shot and Lucas is being denied? Travis will step up.

There is something special about this team and I truly think that the hard part is done. Getting to Detroit carried a ton of pressure. Now all the talk will be about UConn and UNC. Truth be told, I see MSU and Villanova going toe to toe on Monday with the Spartans cutting down the nets.

What is going on in Iowa City?
Poor Todd Lickliter. Just when it looks like he's getting a team together to play his style, three more hit the road. And we're not talking bench warmers or those disgruntled with PT. To lose Jake Kelly is as devastating to the Hawkeyes as it was to lose Tyler Smith a few years ago. Ouch. What is going on? Is Coach a bad guy? Is it the style? Inquiring minds want to know.

Spring Football begins...
Spring football is here and while I won't really write about it, it gets me thinking that before I know it - it will be time to pour through the preseason rags and whip up my predictions. Feel free to report in on the low down from your favorite campus if there is something noteworthy to spill.

In the meantime, GO STATE (as in Penn State and Michigan State) - let's remind the nation that the best ball is played in the Midwest...


Dan Meyer said...

Congrats to Sparty--one game from a NC?--and I think UConn might be tougher than UNC.

Also, congrats to PSU in the NIT as well. Numerous teams have used an NIT championship as a springboard to bigger things going forward.

mayo170 said...

Well, another nail in the coffin for the Big 10 vs. ACC. Real bummer for the Spartans, but one helluva run too.

Nice to see that State was able to fend off 2 out of 3 of the number one seeds on the way, that's a great accomplishment in itself if you consider what the media was predicting would happen.

Buckeye Nation said...

Congrats to Andy and all of Sparta.
I know that last night still stings, but MSU accomplished quite a bit this season and postseason that will remain memorable for years to come.
The string of victories over USC, Kansas, Louisville and Connecticut will forever be as meaningful to you as OSU's victories over Xavier, Tennessee, Memphis and Georgetown were to me and fellow Buckeye fans in 2007.
Next season should be a great one for Big 10 Hoops.
Huge congratulations to MSU and PSU for upholding the pride of Big 10 Hoops!