Michigan State’s Tom Izzo wins humanitarian award

tom izzo

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, an eight-time national Coach of the Year and the longest-tenured Big Ten men’s basketball coach ever, will be honored at the 2013 College Basketball Awards April 15 in Oklahoma City as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

Izzo, who has spent nearly two decades as the head coach at Michigan State and has led his team to a national championship and six trips to the Final Four, will be honored the same night as the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year, Henry Iba Coach of the Year, and Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year. The event will be held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and is presented by Devon Energy and produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City based non-profit charitable foundation.

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Michigan State Needs to Fix Defensive Lapses to Become Elite

msu

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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Outback Bowl vs. Georgia: Serious Let-Down for Michigan State

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On paper, the Outback Bowl: Michigan State vs. Georgia is a great game. Two schools that are much more worthy of being in the BCS than Virginia Tech, and probably more deserving than Michigan. So clearly, it’s a better game than the Sugar Bowl.

And the Orange Bowl too. Clemson is nothing special, and no Big East team, let alone West Virginia should be allowed anywhere near the BCS. And even though MSU and UGA were possibly worthy of at large bids, Boise State, Arkansas and South Carolina were much worthier than the Spartans and Bulldogs; and they got shut out. Proving once again the BcS in the BCS.

But it’s not the Rose Bowl, and for MSU it was all about P4RB “Prepare for Rose Bowl” and aything else is a huge disappointment.

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Michigan St. B1G Title Game Loss: Emotionally Devastating

Mark Dantonio

The Michigan State Spartans pulled out all the stops last night, but it jsut wasn’t enough. They out-gained the Wisconsin Badgers in yardage by a wide margin, and took advantage of some trick plays, but it still didn’t yield a W.

Like I said in my B1G Title game preview on Wednesday:

This game has that Mark Dantonio “trickeration” feel. Like they could win the game on a trick play with a cool name like “little giants” (Notre Dame) or “mouse trap” (Northwestern)

Perhaps it’s time to give the nickname “riverboat gambler” to Dantonio after his gutsy 2nd quarter to remember. (After all, he did say at NU in ’10 “I’ve always been a risk-taker.”)

A cajones call on a critical 4th-1 set up one touchdown. Another touchdown on a lateral from Keith Nichol to B.J. Cunningham. Followed by a direct snap to Sontag for a 2-pt conversion that no one saw coming.

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Michigan St. QB’s Strong Words for Bowl System, League, Michigan

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Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins is a very accomplished player. He re-wrote much of the Spartans record book for passing, and winning. So he has a lot of room to talk.

Tonight’s inaugural Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis was an instant classic. It featured a lot of scoring and lead changes, and came down to the wire. Unfortunately for MSU it was decided on two questionable calls that went against them, and they lost their lead in the final minutes.

We know college football is a very emotional game, and this was an extraordinarily emotional loss for State. And Cousins had some interesting things to say in postgame.

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Can Michigan State Reach the Rose Bowl? B1G Championship Game Preview

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Here we go- the inaugural Big Ten Championship game- a play-in game for the Rose Bowl. Something MSU has has been playing for and focusing on for awhile.

This year in East Lansing, it’s all about “P4RB” meaning “Prepare for Rose Bowl” for the Michigan State Spartans. It’s a slogan you’ll find displayed on t-shirts within the program. It originated during a presentation during a winter meeting. The presentation was made by Running Backs Coach Mike Salem’s brother Wade.

“At the end of his talk, he brought up a slide that said P4RB, and his point was as we go through our winter workouts, spring practices, summer workouts and training camp, we’re not just going out to practice, or run around. We’re doing it to prepare for a Rose Bowl. And that perspective has really helped to galvanize and strengthen our workouts,” said MSU QB Kirk Cousins at Media Day.

“And the focus is not on the Rose Bowl, the focus is on the preparation and the process. And making sure we’re doing what we can towards the things we can control,” he continued.

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Michigan State (10-2) Beats Northwestern in Game they Didn’t Need

kirk cousins

By beating Northwestern today 31-17, Michigan State achieved…well they actually achieved all the big important stuff before arriving in Evanston, IL. Last week, they secured a berth to the inaugural Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. And since beating the Wisconsin/Penn State winner (probably Wisconsin) is their one and only path to the BCS, this game meant very little in the grand scheme of things.

But don’t say that to Coach Mark D’Antonio and/or his players. Despite taking Thursday practice off, MSU came in fired up to win this game. They gave it “the ol’ college try.”

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#10 Michigan State Spartans-Northwestern Wildcats: Brutally Honest Preview

msu-cheerleaders

Uncharted territory for the Big Ten this week. What happens when a team has already clinched a league championship game berth, but has nothing to play for beyond that? It’s the situation the Michigan State Spartans are currently in, as they’re bound for Indianapolis, but their only ticket to the BCS is if they beat the Penn State-Wisconsin winner next weekend.

So will they play their A-game at Northwestern? The Wildcats have a lot to play for- a seventh win guarantees them a bowl slot. They’re bowl eligible already, but the 2007 Wildcats were 6-6 and shut of a bowl. The Big Ten has nine bowl eligible teams, and will likely had a tenth (Purdue) on Saturday; to fill only eight slots. Of course, there’s at-large slots too. Nothing like beating a top ten team to help your bowl resume. And to do it in the season finale, the recency effect will help sell the team.

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Yankees Joe Girardi to be Honorary Captain at Northwestern-Michigan State

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New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi accomplished a lot during his MLB career with the Chicago Cubs, St Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies. He’s been an All-Star, 4× World Series champion (1996, 1998, 1999, 2009) and 2006 NL Manager of the Year.

Before all that, he was a star in the Northwestern Wildcats baseball program. Girardi returns to Evanston to serve as honorary captain as the Wildcats take on the Michigan State Spartans in their Big Ten finale.

Yep baseball meets college football on Saturday.

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