2012 Big Ten Tournament Preview & Predictions

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The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off Thursday, March 8, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Heading into the tournament, the Big Ten continues to lead all conferences in the RPI and Sagarin ratings and is the only conference in the country with five top-15 teams.

So you could easily say it’s the toughest conference in college basketball. But it doesn’t mean the games will be the prettiest; in fact you might see a couple ugly ones.

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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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Big 10 Power Rankings 1-27-11

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Ohio State or Michigan State? Who’s number one? Welcome to the Big Ten power rankings.

Go here for our most recent Big East Power Rankings, which are probably more informative and accurate than the rankings below will turn out.

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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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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings 1-11-12

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I’ve always said that doing power rankings is only fun (and worth reading) when the hierarchy is rather grey and things are up in the air. PRs are kind of stupid and pointless when you get towards the end of regular season and close to conference tournament time- if you’re the sort who has rankings similar to the standings.

But doing them now is rather fun! Are things grey instead of black and white? Well, Iowa won at the Kohl Center. Is the hierarchy up in the air? Purdue lost by 20 at Penn State. Questions answered.

Go here for our most recent Big East Power Rankings, which are probably more informative and accurate than the rankings below will turn out.

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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Many Happy Returns Edition

ohio-state-girl

Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, today is a day NO ONE is at work. There’s no Federal services, no trading on the stock market this Monday. It’s December 26th, so if you’re a mindless-zombie-worker bee-corporate drone-lemming, I know exactly where you are today- at the mall making your Christmas gift returns. (Remember to take the receipts!)

I’m guessing I know what you did on the day after Thanksgiving too, door busters! But for those of us who actually have a shred of individuality, let’s move on to the Big Ten basketball POWER rankings. The cupcake/puff scheduling is over. You ever wonder why the weak mid/low-majors get referred to as pastries? Baked goods are considered sugary and weak I guess. Now it’s time for the “meat and potatoes” of Big Ten conference play. Enjoy!

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Michigan State Tougher Team than Expected; Back in National Rankings

tom-izzo

Last year was no doubt a down year in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans still won 19 games and made the NCAA Tournament, but that’s definitely below par in a place like Michigan State- where they went to 6 Final Fours in 12 years. And entering the season as the consensus #2 team in all of college basketball, not advancing in the tourney was a huge disappointment.

They had to win some games in the Big Ten Tournament to even qualify, and no one expected that.This is a proverbial rebuilding year, as the Spartans re-loaded at many key positions. There were in no one’s preseason top 25, or even close. Yet here they are ranked #21 in the AP poll, #22 in the coaches and #23 in the Fox Sports polls. Why is this team better than last year’s?

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Mateen Cleaves Michigan State Hall of Fame Induction Speech

You remember Mateen Cleaves don’t you? The national college basketball poster child for 2000 March Madness, the fiery point guard with the Bill Cosby sweaters and large mouth who led the Michigan State Spartans to the big prize!

Yes, the ultimate personification of the term “floor general,” the greatest of the MSU “Flintstones,” has a new honor to his credit. Watch the video after the jump.

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Michigan St.’s Green, Notre Dame’s Abro Make USA World University Games Team

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The 12-member roster that will represent the U.S. in the 2011 World University Games men’s basketball competition has been set, with three prior USA Basketball medalists selected to the team after six days of training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Northwestern takes Michigan State Down to the Wire

Tom Izzo

Although the final outcome was still a loss, it was a much more exciting and interesting loss to Michigan State this time for Northwestern, who took one of their toughest Big Ten opponents down to the final possession.

No wants to believe in nor accept moral victories, but losing to the #18 Spartans, when your star forward John Shurna (the Big Ten’s leading scorer) is clearly not anywhere near himself, is not the worst thing in the world.

By Paul M. Banks

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