2014 Michigan St. season preview with Steve Mariucci

steve mariucci

As has been well documented, NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci is a big time Michigan State guy and close personal friend of Tom Izzo. So when I caught up to Mariucci at NFL Network Media Day, I couldn’t help but talk some Sparty. After we discussed some NFL of course, Mariucci used to coach the San Francisco 49ers, and they play in the league’s toughest division, the NFC West.

So in this exclusive interview we talked about the Niners as well as the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.

Hey, the NFL is a copy cat league and right now everyone is trying to copy the winning hand possessed by the Seattle Seahawks. And that includes the Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams and even the Niners. But after we talk NFC West, we get into the MSU Spartans.

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Michigan State Blows Out #9 Purdue, Secures NCAA Tournament Bid

izzo-on-broadway

I guess MSU Coach Tom Izzo  finally got his Michigan State Spartans to realize that March is here? In their 74-56 rout over the #6 Purdue Boilermakers, State finally played like a preseason #2 team in national college basketball.

And of course they did it in March, a month in which they’re known to be at their best. It took all the way to the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals, but it did happen.

This was about as complete a game, at both ends of the floor that State has played all season. And the win, in very convincing fashion, over a top opponent has clinched their way into the NCAA Tournament.

By Paul M. Banks

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Michigan State Stays on NCAA Bubble with Narrow Victory over Iowa Hawkeyes

msu dance team

In our latest, most up-to-date NCAA Tournament bracket projection, (or college basketball “bracketology” if you will, we have the Michigan State Spartans as a #11 seed.

Although the chances of them falling into that final #12 seed line (and perhaps playing within that “First Four”) are still high, even with their 66-61 narrow escape over the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round of Big Ten Tournament. It was game the Hawkeyes lost more than the Spartans won.

However, their chances of falling off the bubble and into the NIT are quite low at this point. A win tomorrow over the #2 seed Purdue Boilermakers assures their place as the sixth Big Ten team in the NCAA Tournament.

By Paul M. Banks

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Is Michigan State Going to be Left out of the NCAA Dance?

izzo_broadway

Only one team from last year’s Final Four looks to be in serious danger of missing this year’s NCAA Tournament. That college basketball team was also the national runner-up in 2009, and ranked #2 in preseason polls this year. They are the Big ten and the nation’s biggest let-down, the Michigan State Spartans (17-13, 9-9). North Carolina and Kansas State also had massive preseason expectations, and seen their struggles this season. However, the Tar Heels and Wildcats are getting hot at the right time- down the stretch.

There are plenty of reasons for the disaster that’s unfolded in East Lansing, Michigan: a myriad of injuries, the behavior issues of Korie Lucious and Chris Allen, a consistently catastrophic amount of turnovers every game, the severe regression of Durrell Summers, Delvon Roe’s knees that just won’t heal, Kalin Lucas not being 100% healthy until midseason, the freshmen and sophomore class lack of production, and of course, Tom Izzo sometimes losing his team due to his tyrannical tactics.

By Paul M. Banks

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Relationship Between Michigan State’s Leading Scorer and Head Coach Getting Frosty?

durrell summers

Last March, Michigan State Spartans star Durrell Summers saw a breakout NCAA Tournament propel his NBA Draft stock. A probable second round pick, Summers instead came back to school, and now sees his stock falling. The primary questions that surround his potential -defense and heart- are now flaring up again.

And Summers isn’t getting any help from his own Head Coach Tom Izzo on these topics. Answering a reporter’s question is one thing, but one could say he’s actually gone out of his way to call Summers out in the past three press conferences.

It all started in the home overtime win over Northwestern.

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Coaches Rock Upon the Mic Right at Big 10 Media Day

bruce weber erin andrews

Many college basketball experts believe the Big Ten will be the best conference in the nation this year. And on paper, it certainly looks that way, as they have a first team all conference squad of players who have ruled the Big Ten since they were sophomores. Now they have reached their prime.

And when it comes to coaches, the Big Ten has a fine a pedigree as any. Minnesota’s Tubby Smith was at Big Ten Media Day yesterday, and we discussed the current media landscape, where credibility and lack of credibility lies within it, social media, the meta of social media, the human nature of communication, the meaning behind medium of communication.

Just like I did with Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. But those are separate posts for another occasion. For now, let’s highlight what was said at the podium by the other coaches. And we’ll actually talk basketball here. Really, I promise.

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Tom Izzo staying at Mich St! They Should Riot in East Lansing

tom_izzo

This happens every summer. NBA teams court Michigan State supercoach Tom Izzo, and NBA teams get turned down. But this time, the lure was much stronger. This time, the offer was $30 million to tutor LeBron James, the best player in the game. And again the offer was turned down.

Like I said a couple weeks ago, I knew “H to the Izzo” was staying, unless he had a guarantee that he could coach LeBron. Then there might have been a slight chance he would bolt for Cleveland. Well it still didn’t happen. It’s also been rumored (or reported- depending on your definition of news these days) that Izzo had previously turned down an offer to coach the Chicago Bulls this season as well.

By Paul M. Banks

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Tom Izzo isn’t going anywhere

michigan state basketball izzo

We’ve all heard the news and rumors about MSU’s head coach Tom Izzo: $30 million, 5 years from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even though State’s A.D. says no official offer has even been made. However, don’t believe any of this  hype- unless Izzo knows he has Lebron to work with.

Michigan State entered this past season ranked #2 in the AP poll. They had their struggles in midseason, but played up to the hype when it counted in March. Without top player Kalin Lucas, the Spartans still finished just one HORRIBLE non-call away from playing in the national title game.

Next year, they’ll likely be #2 again, or  maybe #1. So Izzo has a title to win. And the only way he can do that in Cleveland, is if LeBron stays put.

By Paul M. Banks

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Michigan State could be nation’s top team next year

michigan state dancer

By Paul M. Banks

Michigan State entered this past season ranked #2 in the AP poll. They had their struggles in midseason, but played up to the hype when it counted in March. Without top player Kalin Lucas, the Spartans still finished just one HORRIBLE non-call away from playing in the national title game.

Butler star forward Gordon Hayward even admitted it himself, telling CBS’ Seth Davis that he legitimately hacked MSU’s Draymond Green on Green’s potential game-tying shot in the final seconds of the national semi-final game.

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Izzo’s Definition of a College Basketball National Power

By Paul M. Banks

INDIANAPOLIS- What are the benchmarks, numbers, standards for entry into the same class as the four (Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA) most historically elite programs?

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, whose program has been in the national conversation for the last 10 years or so, offered a couple definitions.

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Midwest Swing Elite 8 Edition

Michigan State Dance team

Paul M. Banks

ST LOUIS-I got one of the best compliments ever following the taking of the picture you see above. Some random dude said something that made me think, “this must be what Justin Timberlake feels like every day.”

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Korie Lucious Emerges as new Spartans Leader (Video)

korie lucious

By Paul M. Banks

When Kalin Lucas went down, Michigan St. lost their best player and floor general. His replacement Korie Lucious, a 5-10 sophomore point guard from Milwaukee, did an admirable job in his place.

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