Michigan St. legend Mateen Cleaves highlights CBS Sports Draft Show

mateen-cleaves

Mateen Cleaves is not only one of the most legendary names in Michigan State history, he’s also one of the most iconic players in college basketball lore. This Spartan warrior is known for winning a national title while on crutches, being a stellar point guard and the ugly Bill Cosby style sweaters he wore on the bench when injured.

Mateen Cleaves played in the NBA for 6 years, including a couple years with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons. He later played in the NBDL, Russia and Greece. Now the Big Ten icon of icon is joining CBS Sports as a studio analyst.

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Michigan State girls: parody video of Pure Michigan ads

michigan-state-girl

Welcome to not so pure Michigan. A great parody of all those “Pure Michigan” ads plugging tourism for the state that you incessantly hear in the Midwest. This one is an ode to girls of Michigan State University, and how female Spartans are superior to the women Wolverines at the University of Michigan.

Enjoy!

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

bruce weber-upset

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

draymond green nba draft

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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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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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’s Defense is Nation’s 3rd Best; Only LSU and Alabama Higher

jerel worthy tattoo

Michigan State has a defensive unit ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense, allowing 257.3 yards per game. Only two teams have topped 400 yards of total offense against defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi’s unit. Just the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide are better than State at stopping their opponents. Of course, those two SEC units will play for the national title in college football, and they’re loaded with NFL talent. MSU doesn’t have near as many next level guys, which is a testament to Narduzzi’s ability.

You understand why he’s such a hot coaching prospect; especially this year with so many jobs open.

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Michigan St. Wins 20+ in 2 years; Not bad for a “Basketball School”

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On the banks of the Red Cedar there’s a school that’s known to sports fans.

Their specialty is college basketball, and the Spartans also play great hockey. Excuse me for taking the Michigan State fight song, and changing the lyrics. But when people think about MSU sports, Tom Izzo’s hoops program comes to mind first. Six Final Fours in 11 years will do that.

Spartan football was a national powerhouse in the 1960s; and since then MSU has produced a Rose Bowl in 1988, some great wide receivers, and not much else. However, there is a very rich football history in East Lansing beyond that. Legendary leader Duffy Daugherty led the Spartans to four national titles during the 1950s.

And this year’s Spartans, led by senior QB Kirk Cousins could tie the school record for wins with a win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, and then break it with a win over Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

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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

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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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