I think I would rather be in Ann Arbor this weekend. Something about heading down to Columbus right now has me way spooked. Ohio State's performance has been as fidgety as Michigan State's this year... lose @ Wisconsin by 22...then win over Minnesota by 26... they split with Michigan - won by 3/lost@ by 2... their only home loss, like Sparty, was to Indiana. skeery.
Michigan Snakes University really (REALLY!) needs a win @ Ohio Snakes University. hoping Sparty got it's dander up from losing this week; that they're mad, focused and hungry. if not, might be plenty of angsting in Spartan Nation of a coulda mighta shoulda, dammit, season... and heading into Ann Arbor one week later anyways. skeery.
We got us a race again. MSU, Wisconsin & Michigan are all battling for a B1GT 1st round bye...mebbe an outright league championship if the wierdness of a crazy season continues.
Coach Izzo, he say the snakes will be ready to repeat on Sunday. He say "shut the futz up!" to media hacks, disappointed Sparty fans, etc who think the season is ruined, Appling's lost his mojo, etc. He say again what most of us have been saying all season: "This could be a GREAT team when all is said and done!"
When they get the stains out of our shorts from Columbus we may live to fight another day. Appling must have that green Spartan fungle infection. It can go around this time of year. Morgan had it, Summers had it, I think even Lucas had a touch of it a one point. The rare infection causes "Wilting in the Moment". Nothing like a trip to the Doctor in Ann Arbor while your under the weather. But do what MJ did, take a sip of Gatorade, And Man Up! Groan Green.
P.S. The only "lock" for Sundays game is 100% chance I will be drinking heavily poured Vodka cocktails out of my Sparty Tervis Tumbler. Its a Lock!
meh...I think #9 is fine...but it doesn't help matters, considering Jerry boneboy Palm has just bracketed the snakes as a #1 Dance seed again (???) - despite their losing the last two games. Gad, how stoopid.
And, in the "some things never change, Dept"...check out the Detroit Free Press "Spartans" section...is loaded with scUM headlines!?! - all stoking & stroking walverine arrogance and pomposity. Gad. Here's hoping Izzo & Co get down to Breslin/south tomorrow and jam that blue pride where the sun don't shine...with no easement or letup this go-around...smother and humiliate the lousy bluetards by the widest margin in series history. I don't care for their respect any more, I want to see them shamed, augered into the ground - buried so deep they'll never dig out.
I recall a few years back when I asked the UM fans what was required for MSU to earn their respect. They told me beat UM more than once in a row and win a B1G Ten title. Well, the Spartans upheld their end of things...
That was a really fun afternoon in Ann Arbor, despite the final outcome. They've done a really nice job with the Crisler Center remodel, the action was truly exciting, and the end was thrilling, though disappointing to Spartan nation.
The Michigan fans were loud, boisterous, and very well-mannered. I neither personally received nor observed any unseemly behavior from the Wolverines in attendance or afterward on the walk back to the car. Well done, U of M fans.
I thought the display of guts and heart to be down by ten late in the game and still scratch their way back into a tie with under 35 to play was inspiring. I was puckered pretty tight when that happened. The excitement turned into sheer horror when Appling tried to spin to his right (something he'd done numerous times throughout the afternoon, thus tipping his hand to Burke, I felt) and Burke cleanly picked his pocket for the breakaway slam. But, we still had our chance after Nix made one of two and McGary (as I predicted to my seat neighbor) clanked the front end of his one-and-one.
The last play was never able to get started, I felt, for several reasons. Normally, Izzo is a wizard when it comes to diagramming an out-of-bounds play for the win. In this instance, I felt he got too complicated with it. The play began with no one near the top to receive the inbounds pass or set a quick screen. This led to a roughly four-second inbounds pass and a very disorganized-looking start to the play. Because of this, Harris was forced to attempt to ad lib, which he didn't do a very good job of, turning it over to (who else?) Trey Burke. I really felt a better play would have been a simple ball screen up top to free up Appling or Valentine on the inbounds, followed by a quick post to Adreian Payne. From there, he should have had enough time to either win it with his post move or get fouled and go to the line with a chance to win or tie. Alas, Izzo went a different route and I'm left here, second-guessing him.
Again, heart-breaking, but an exciting and overall pretty enjoyable experience. Now, with the Big Ten regular season title realistically, if not mathematically, out of reach, we need to get down to tournament preparation. Win out the remaining home games, grab a high seed in the BTT and go deep enough in it to at least earn a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament. From there . . . it's Izzo time.
Thank you 2000, our "at ground zero" correspondent, for the most excellent analysis. Sitting here in ATL with my tumbler of V&V last night had to have been utter hell for wifey and Bubba (poor dog is still slinking out of reach...I'm sure he thought I'd gone total bat crazy...he's right.) You were so lucky NOT to have been assailed by the constant barrage of CBS anncrs' UM smotherlove - those two rarely took UM's junk out of their mouths to say anything good about State - they constantly disparaged the refs for NOT calling travels, fouls, etc on MSU, but not once said chit about UM's numerous, obvious infractions (fouls, slam screens, etc)...was sickening...nor have to put up with a minute of gametime followed by 2 minutes of commercials - all damn game long.
From there . . . it's Izzo time.
I certainly hope so. Something said last night by a guy SN'd "Humble7"...though...I had to -silently- agree with: "Appling allowing Burke to steal the ball for the Wolverine´s last 2 points is inexcusable - but how´s this excuse? If the GREAT coach Izzo would quit yelling at his players (in a very loud and hostile environment) maybe young Mr Appling would have not been looking his way and had the ball stolen from him. Talk to your players during the time-outs, then shut the ****-up and let them do their thing!" Another guy, some OSU poster, was wroth with Izzo for calling the last TO just as Valentine WON THE DAMN GAME with an easy transition layup...again...something I was off-the-cliff about here at home.
I'm hoping (same old same old) that the loss last night (totally agree with Adreian Payne's feelings: BITTER) will serve as motivation for this team (and coach) to play the ball they're capable of from here on out...starting Thursday with Bucky.
oh, btw...did anybody else note how utterly unproductive & worthless Valentine, Costello and Dawson (???) were last night? 2 points between all three? gad...how sucky was that? Lastly, I hope the pained grimace Harris made after being slammed to the floor in a scrum (no foul called, of course) towards the end of the game...doesn't linger this week.
Interesting observation about Valentine and Dawson for sure. I was actually wondering aloud during the game about Dawson's almost complete disappearance. He played enough minutes, to be sure, but his contribution to the game overall was virtually non-existant. Valentine played okay, not great, but his 0-fer shotting didn't help, especially since several of his misses were of the wide open three-point variety. Don't know exactly how many, but I was getting annoyed with him for missing these. Costello . . . I could only laugh at his gaffe on the wide open layup in the paint, although we got it cleaned up (Mr. Payne, if memory serves). Otherwise, Costello played a nice bit of defense during his short stints of time in the game.
The Appling thing . . . I don't think it had anything to do with Izzo. Yes, he stopped for a second when he came across the time line, but it wasn't as though Burke stole the ball from in front of him while he was distracted, looking at Izzo. Burke picked his pocket clean with a local Rec Center move I've seen a million times because Appling hung the ball out wide while spinning to his right. Even a sixth grade point guard knows to keep the ball tight to your body when making that move or else it's getting poked out from behind. So I still see no excuse for that turnover.
Last, but not least, though I knew a time out was forthcoming on that last play, I agree whole-heartedly because it was obvious we had something cooking with the quick push of the ball up the court. Sometimes, coaches need to swallow their tongues and let the players play (and the TOUGH PLAYERS WIN).
102° fever? And you call that an excuse? shame shame. You damn rocket scientists are whimpy as hell. But, now that you mention it, I do seem to remember either Burt or Ernie (the cbs UM fellators) noting that UM probably got away with a doublemanslam screen that knocked Appling into the air and on his azz.