Why does Tom Izzo always succeed in March? Scheduling

michigan-state-basketball tum tum nairn-tom-izzo

It’s a familiar script- a traditional rite of passage each March. As flowers begin to blossom so does the Michigan State basketball team coached by Tom Izzo.

Maybe Izzo was right after all when he put the national networks on notice following his team’s win at Illinois on February 23rd. Izzo won a pivotal game that held huge consequences for both teams. Izzo then called out the national media that night for their depiction of the Big Ten as mediocre.

As Tom Izzo said, the Big Ten isn’t very top heavy, but they do have a bunch of solid, competitive teams. Most people would agree with that sentiment.

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Michigan State a trendy elite 8 pick again this year


It’s fitting that Michigan State fans and St. Patrick’s Day partygoers wear the same exact color. They’re both known for “having a good time,” if you will, and especially so at this time of year.

This is the time of year that they both come out in full force. For MSU, the NCAA Tournament is just part of the schedule. Michigan State’s current streak of 18 consecutive NCAA Tournaments ranks third nationally.

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Michigan State basketball getting hot in March, as is tradition


Michigan State basketball has now officially escaped the dreaded #8 vs #9 game with convincing wins over Ohio State and now a signature win over Maryland, an RPI top 10 team that had beaten them both times this season. Sparty couldn’t finish off the #1 seeded Wisconsin Badgers, but they showed some ability to close during the Big Ten Tournament.

In our final bracketology we had the Spartans as a #7 seed, and that’s what they received. It’s the same exact seed they had when State reached the Elite 8 in 2003.

The Michigan St. Spartans are 24-11 and enter the NCAA Tournament having won ten of their last 14 games.

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Big Ten Tournament belongs in the Midwest. Period.


The idea to move the Big Ten Tournament to the east coast isn’t as dumb as the idea that to make Big Ten freshmen ineligible.

No way; not even close.

However, it’s an idea similarly doomed to fail. At least the concept of sending the Big Ten Tournament to Washington D.C. and New York City is explicable- it’s a marketing ploy to create new revenue streams. It’s just an extension of the maneuver to add Maryland and Rutgers. All sense of tradition is lost.

It’s about trying to turn on television sets in the New York City and Washington D.C. markets and..well, that’s all it’s about.

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2015 Big Ten Tournament predictions, upsets galore


No poetic touch-y feel-y crap here as no introduction is needed. Let’s just dive right into the Big Ten Tournament predictions and #Analysis

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Adreian Payne’s NBA career finally begins with Timberwolves


The best thing that happened to Adreian Payne, NBA career wise, was getting traded away from the Atlanta Hawks and to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He wasn’t going to get much playing time with the Eastern Conference’s first place team; who have now pretty much solidified the #1 seed in the East.

Payne was drafted 15th overall by Atlanta, but never broke into their rotation; hence he was traded to the T’Wolves for a lottery-protected first round pick.

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Tum Tum, Smotherman, Melo and the rest of the B1G “All Name Team”


Michigan State has a new starting point guard named Lourawls Nairn.  Make that Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr. He’s just a freshman right now, and Travis Trice still essentially has the gig for the rest of this season. In time though, Nairn could be special, like a Kalin Lucas or a Keith Appling. Tum Tum was ranked Rivals.com’s #61 overall prospect nationally in the Class of 2014.

We’ve profiled Tum Tum, including an explanation of his name, here. After all, it is his name that is the story in A Block here.

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Tom Izzo calls out the national perception of the Big 10


“I’m getting a little tired of hearing in the networks about the Big Ten. Our league should be given a little more credit,” Tom Izzo declared in the opening statement of his postgame press conference last night.

His Michigan State Spartans had just emerged victorious at Illinois 60-53 in a game that was described by Illini coach John Groce as “a heavyweight boxing match.”

Groce used a great euphemism for a game that was horribly officiated, low scoring, and also drifted along at a glacial pace.

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Michigan State’s Trae Waynes is this NFL Draft’s top CB

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Michigan State corner Trae Waynes is another member of the “no fly zone,” (the original no fly zone, remember that the Arizona Cardinals took the name from the MSU Spartans, who had it first) will join former Jim Thorpe award winner Darquezze Denard by becoming a first round NFL draft pick.

NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock, on media conference call this week to preview this week’s NFL Scouting Combine.

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Michigan St’s Lourawls Tum Tum Nairn: next great PG??


You’ll never find, as long as you search, a name in sports as unique as Lourawls Tum Tum Nairn Jr.

The freshman point guard is indeed a natural man. He’s now officially dropped the Lourawls part of his name, and goes by just Tum Tum Nairn Jr. (at least for basketball purposes) Which means I no longer have to force any more obvious Lou Rawls puns into this.

That’s good because I really didn’t have a clue on how to relate “Lady Love” and theme songs to “Garfield” holiday specials to college basketball.

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Michigan State basketball: filling out a #10 seed profile


When it comes to Michigan State basketball, only March matters.

Tom Izzo’s program has supplanted Indiana as the brand name traditional power of the Big Ten. Therefore, the Spartans usually carry the flag for the league once the NCAA Tournament starts. In East Lansing, it’s simply when the real season begins.

The second weekend of the NCAA Tournament is just a natural part of the Michigan State basketball schedule.

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Michigan St. and Michigan set for Cold War III in Chicago


Bitter rivals Michigan State and Michigan met for the first time outdoors on October 6, 2001. Spartan Stadium set a then-world record for the largest crowd at an ice hockey game with 74,544. The 3-3 tie saw the college football stadium filled to 103.4% capacity.

“That’s the one that started it all off,” said Drew Russell, Vice President of Properties for InterSport this week.

InterSport, a 29-year-old sports and entertainment marketing company based in Chicago, is holding the third iteration of the Cold War this weekend.

“Michigan St. Athletic Director Mark Hollis, a lot of people call him a mad scientist, I call him a visionary. He developed that concept and it’s obviously taken off since then,” Russell continued.

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