The Buckeyes and Spartans are butting heads today for the first of two matchups that will likely decide the B1G Championship! ESPN is airing the game today, which is set to tip at 6:00 PM EST in Value City Arena.
While you wait, go checkout our Buckeye Blogger Network friends! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 8:30 PM for the start of our liveblog.
If you’re looking for web-video for the game, try First Row Sports (warning: pop-up ads). Click the basketball tab, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right game.
The Buckeyes were just about caught looking ahead to MSU against a game Boilermaker squad the other night. They pulled out in the end and were finally able to focus on the Michigan State Spartans. Let’s focus on them as well.
|School:||Michigan State University|
|Founded:||1855 – The FIRST agricultural College in theU.S. Originally called the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan|
|Student Population:||47,800 8th largest university in the country|
|Head Coach:||Tom Izzo –Northern Michigan1977|
|Experience & Accomplishments||17th Year – 4 National COY awards, 6 Final Fours, 14 straight NCAA’s, 6 B1G Champs, 1 National Championship in 2000|
For the better part of the last two decades, the Michigan State Spartans have consistently been one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten Conference. While in some seasons the Spartans don’t quite have a top notch team, they still tend to put up more than a fight and they rarely stay down for long.
A lot of the credit for that belongs to head coach Tom Izzo for consistently building a tough, hard-nosed basketball team year in and year out. He regularly picks up top talent on the recruiting trail and molds them into a solid team. The last two trips to the Final Four in 2009 and 2010 speak to that.
We continue our preseason look at the teams of the Big Ten with one of the more visible of the conference’s basketball teams: the Michigan State Spartans.
I doubt there was any fanbase in the country more disappointed last season than Spartan fans. After two straight Final Four appearances, and with a team loaded with veteren talant in the backcourt, the Spartans limped home to a 19-15 record including a 9-9 conference record. That’s the fewest wins they’ve had since the 03-04 season when they went 18-12 and lost in the first round of the tournament. Clearly Michigan State fans have a reason to expect better.
Part of the reason for this sudden reversal was the complete meltdown of that very veteren backcourt. Chris Allen (dismissed) and Korie Lucious (suspended for the season) both transfered to Iowa State early in the season and depleted the experienced backcourt depth. Couple that with Durrell Summers not living up to his expectations, and Kalin Lucas underperforming all season, and you have a recipe for a disaster. Worse than that, the usually potent and powerful Michigan State front court was a shadow of its former self. Draymond Green and Delvon Roe struggled desperately the entire year to carry the team on their own.