Former MSU Spartan Garrick Sherman has huge game for Notre Dame

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Notre Dame recruited Garrick Sherman coming out of high school. But the 6-10, 240 pound center choose Michigan State instead. But the Irish have him in 2012-13, and he had a huge night in ND’s 5 OT victory over Louisville, a game everyone will remember. The Shermanator is the first player to transfer to Notre Dame since June ’08 when Mike Brey welcomed 2011 Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough from Mississippi State and current Irish senior forward Scott Martin from Purdue.

Sherman didn’t even play until overtime tonight, but he made the most of his minutes, getting 17 points on 7-9 shooting and 6 rebounds.

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Michigan State has many non-conference wins, but most with struggles

tom izzo michigan state

There’s no question that the teams of Tom Izzo are much better in March -when it counts- then November/December. But nothing has come easy for this Spartans team. It seems like every time they play inferior competition they struggle with them. They still win, but play way down to their level.

They did it again versus Texas, trailing in the second half. Yes, the Longhorns just knocked off a #23 ranked North Carolina team, but the Tar Heels are overrated. And UT has lost to Chaminade, USC, Georgetown and USC. State won of course, but the ‘Horns were down by just two down the stretch.

MSU’s struggles started with the upset to an inferior UConn team in Germany. They only beat Boise St. by four, not pulling away from Oakland until the closing minutes, beating Lousiana-Lafayette by just three, losing to unranked Miami team, they also trailed late in the second half to Loyola and Bowling Green. They’re just not dominating teams nor closing them out. By far, the highlight of the non-conference slate was the win over now #9 Kansas.

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Northwestern still needs three wins to make NCAA Tournament

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In our latest NCAA Tournament bracket projection, we have Northwestern as a #12 seed, one of the last four teams in. Of course, this isn’t a place you want to stay right now as Selection Sunday approaches.

Even though this is a supposedly “weak bubble,” bracket projections don’t and can’t factor in the “bid-stealing” that will occur next week when small conference favorites lose in their in their league tournaments. How many of these “one-bid league” upsets will we have? Who knows, but you need to get above that last #12 seed line to be safe, and the ‘Cats need to beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City and then pick up two more wins in Indy.

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Michigan State Athletic Director named to NCAA basketball committee

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Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis who is credited with developing some of college basketball’s most innovative events, has been named to the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. He will begin serving his term September 1, 2012.

Hollis earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1985, serving as student manager for the Spartan men’s basketball team under legendary coach Jud Heathcote. The predecessor to Tom Izzo. He earned a Master’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1992 and then joined the staff at the Western Athletic Conference, working his way up from administrative assistant to assistant to the commissioner and then assistant commissioner.

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Just how shaky is Illini coach Bruce Weber’s Job Security?

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The Assembly Hall crowd in Champaign called for Bruce Weber’s head. Illini fans in B Section screamed “pack your bags” and “I can draw up a better offense.” This has gone on for years, except this time there was one major difference- No one in the orange and blue crowd stuck up for Bruce.

And this happened during one of this year’s signature wins, a victory over a top ten Michigan State team. Illini Nation seems to be totally fed up with Weber. He’s about as well liked as point guard Sam Maniscalco, who acts like a black hole in the offense. His field goal and three-point percentages are so low that on those rare occasions he hits a shot, it seems like a miracle has occurred.

Down at courtside on this night you could hear Weber screaming “MOVE MOVE MOVE!” Because there’s just no motion in his motion offense; a system that has produced only a .500 record in conference since the Champaign Campaign national runner-up year of 2005.  And Mansicalco is a big example of what’s wrong with Weber’s decision making: giving more playing time to grindy, hustle players instead of the talented ones.

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Spartans’ Leading Scorer/Rebounder Draymond Green Leaves Game With Serious Leg Injury

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The Big Ten’s leading rebounder, and best player on the nation’s 9th ranked team may be out for awhile. Michigan State forward Draymond Green seriously hurt his left leg in tonight’s mild upset loss to the Illini, and left the game with 3:50 left, unable to walk on his own power.

Green was down on the Assembly Hall floor in Champaign for quite awhile, and after examination was able to hop over on his one good leg to the MSU bench.

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Michigan St.-Illinois Game Just Like Overall Series: Very Tight

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Entering tonight’s contest, the Michigan State-Illinois series was tied at 55. The last 13 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, and this was no different. And the #9 Michigan State Spartans fell to the Illinois Fighting Illini 42-41.

There was really ugly offense in the first half, by both teams.  A 22-20 score is often the result when one team’s best player shoots 2-8 from the floor, and the other team’s best player sits with foul trouble. D.J. Richardson was pretty much the entire offense for Illinois in the first half, scoring 7 of the team’s 22 points.

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Michigan State Needs to Fix Defensive Lapses to Become Elite

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This what #9 Michigan State has given up in scoring in their four losses: 67 to North Carolina, 74 to Duke, 81 to Northwestern, 6o to Michigan.

In their 16 wins, they’ve held everyone under 70 with the exception of Lehigh; a game they won 90-81. The losses to the Wolverines and Tar Heels were much more on the offense than the D, but the pattern is still obvious: when the Spartans play defense like a traditional Tom Izzo team is known to do, they are elite.

They look like an Elite Eight, Final Four team. But when they have those occasional defensive lapses, which have been few and far between, they look like an ordinary team.

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Mich St Fans Get Repulsive; Draymond Tips Ball into Purdue Goal

draymond green tom izzo

Michigan State may have absolutely slaughtered Purdue 83-58 yesterday, but the battle between the two traditional Big Ten powers still had some embarrassing, and down-right dark moments in the lop-sided win.

Spartans leader (in scoring, rebounding and emotion) Draymond Green accidentally stuffed the ball home for Purdue (watch video after the jump). But much worse, the Izzone, the MSU student cheering section went really low and class-less in heckling Boilermakers star Robbie Hummel.

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Northwestern’s Surprisingly Good RPI, Tournament Profile

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RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) is an algorithm based on opponents’ winning percentage, opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage, and opponents’ opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage. This is the truth, I’m not trying to sound like Dr. Seuss here. So RPI is like the BCS, a very controversial number that certains groups of people ascribe meaning to; other groups of people resent.

That fact is, RPI is taken very seriously by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, and from a numerical standpoint, it’s all about “who have you played?” Then there’s the eye-test with RPI, which asks “who have you beaten?”

And these numbers are what gives the Northwestern Wildcats a stronger than you think tourney profile. A 12-5, 2-3 in conference team with two 28+ point losses doesn’t seem like a good candidate to go dancing at first glance. But when you look at their #30 RPI and strength of schedule, the picture completely changes.

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#6 Michigan State Sees Win Streak End at Northwestern!

Tom Izzo

Was this a huge upset? On one level, yes. Any time the most prominent college basketball program in the Big Ten falls to the program with the least amount of tradition in the conference, it’s huge!

Not to mention it ended the biggest win streak that prominent

On the other hand, Northwestern came in with a RPI of 28 while Michigan State’s number is 6, so it’s not that big of a spread.

Also, last year’s meetings were an OT defeat in East Lansing and a one possession final score in Evanston.

However, when Northwestern defeated Michigan State 81-74, this one seemed to look like a “season definer.”

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Michigan State on Biggest Winning Streak Since Izzo’s 1st Final Four Team

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When the #6 Michigan State Spartans head to Northwestern on Saturday, they’ll do so riding a 15 game winning streak=longest winning streak since the 1998-99 season, when they won 22 in a row before losing to Duke in the Final Four.

That was Tom Izzo’s fourth season at the helm in East Lansing, and the first of his six Final Fours. That team lost to the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center to open the Big Ten season, then started their phenomenal run at home versus the rival Michigan Wolverines.

This group dropped the season opening pair to the ACC traditional powers (North Carolina in the aircraft carrier game and Duke in the Coach K. milestone game) before starting the current streak that has seen them rocket from preseason after-thought to national top ten ranking.

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