Tag:Michigan State
Posted on: February 2, 2010 12:31 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2010 12:32 pm

Oddsmakers get the power of the Kohl Center

Yes, Michigan State is 9-0 in the Big Ten.

And yes, the Spartans own a three-game cushion over everybody.

But you shouldn't be surprised to learn that Sportsbook.com is listing MSU as a 2-point underdog tonight at Wisconsin, because that's just oddsmakers taking into account the fact that Bo Ryan's team damn-near never loses at the Kohl Center. I've gone through most of the numbers before. But here's a refresher course for everybody thinking this is a case of "wrong team favored" ...
  • The Badgers are 132-10 (.930) at the Kohl Center in Ryan's nine seasons, including a 65-5 (.929) record in Big Ten games.
  • In the last eight years, 93 of the Badgers’ 118 home wins have come by at least 10 points (78.8 percent).
  • Wisconsin has trailed at halftime in only 27 of 142 home games under Ryan. The Badgers came back to win 18 of those games.
  • Ryan is 6-0 against Michigan State at the Kohl Center.
As they say, take that for what it's worth.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 28, 2009 6:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

Don't ever let anybody tell you the Poll Attacks aren't working.

Because they're working.

Pitt got zero votes this week.

I made that happen.

Now let's see what this week's Poll Attacks can get done.

AP poll: God bless you, Roger Clarkson from the Athens Banner-Herald . You are hard-headed, no doubt. But you finally came around and dropped Pittsburgh from your ballot, and you are to be applauded on this Monday. Sure, it took three weeks of Poll Attacks to make it happen, the last of which was vicious. And, yes, I think it's hilarious that the week you finally decided to remove Pitt is the week in which the Panthers beat Ohio 74-49. But that's beside the point. The point is that you listened, and that the Poll Attacks are working. And this must be how people feel when they help the less fortunate around the holidays. Like them, I now know that I'm making a difference in this world. It's a proud day for both me and this blog. See how I'm smiling in that picture up there? That's how I'm smiling right now. With tears of joy in my eyes.

Coaches poll: One of the things I hate about rankings is how teams are dropped when they lose road games to higher-ranked teams. It makes no sense. I mean, why should a team ranked No. 9 go win on the homecourt of the team ranked No. 2? Answer: It shouldn't. And it shouldn't be penalized when it doesn't (unless it's an absolute massacre), which brings me to Michigan State.

The Spartans were ranked No. 9 in the Coaches poll last week.

Then they went and lost 79-68 at No. 2 Texas.

And so the voters processed that information and decided to drop Michigan State from No. 9 to No. 11.


Why penalize a team for playing tough non-league road games?

If anything, we should reward teams for playing tough non-league road games.

Meantime, Connecticut moved from No. 11 to No. 10 thanks to wins over Maine and Iona because voters decided in that last week that UConn deserves to be ranked higher than Michigan State because UConn beat Maine and Iona while Michigan State failed to upset a Texas team that got three No. 1 votes. It's crazy. Switch the schedules, and it's safe to assume Michigan State would've moved up with meaningless wins over Maine and Iona while UConn dropped after a loss at Texas, and that means voters are ranking teams based on nothing more than scheduling philosophies, which is wrong.

Again, it's wrong to penalize teams for losing games they should lose.

That's why I didn't drop Ole Miss for losing at West Virginia.

That's why I didn't drop Michigan State for losing at Texas.

That's why the Coaches poll makes me crazy.
Posted on: November 30, 2009 10:05 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2009 4:20 pm

The Poll Attacks

I just returned home from California.

I'm sick.

I'm tired.

I'm sick and tired of dumb voters.

The only cure is to Poll Attack the stupid and their stupidity.

AP poll: You know how people eat turkey on Thanksgiving, then get really tired and fall asleep?

That's got to be what happened to John Bohnenkamp.

How else to explain Bohnenkamp -- the sports editor of The Hawk Eye newspaper in Iowa -- putting Illinois at No. 21 on his AP ballot despite the Illini losing to unranked Utah on Friday and unranked Bradley on Saturday? It's the type of inexplicable move on which the Poll Attacks were created. Understand, Utah has losses to Idaho and Seattle, plus a 77-55 loss to Oklahoma State while Bradley has double-digit losses to BYU and Oklahoma State. So it's not like the Illini lost to Syracuse and Texas over the weekend. They lost to Utah and Bradley. And it's not like the Illini have great wins to offset the bad losses. They've only beaten Wofford, Northern Illinois, Presbyterian and SIU-Edwardsville.

So how does a 4-2 team with no good wins and two bad losses end up No. 21 on Bohnenkamp's ballot?

I have no freaking idea.

He's either still asleep, clueless or careless.

There's no other explanation.

Coaches poll: Do the games matter?

That's a serious question.

Do. The. Games. Matter?

I ask because I sat courtside in Anaheim last Thursday and watched Minnesota beat Butler 82-73, at which point the Gophers advanced to the semifinals of the 76 Classic while the Bulldogs went into the consolation bracket. Minnesota went on to finish 1-2 in the 76 Classic with a win over Butler and losses to Portland and Texas A&M, ending the week with an overall record of 4-2. Likewise, Butler went on to finish 1-2 in the 76 Classic with a win over UCLA and losses to Minnesota and Clemson, ending the week with an overall record of 4-2.

In other words, Minnesota and Butler had the same record last week.

They have the same record now.

And their records only include reasonable losses.

Honestly, there isn't much difference between Butler's body of work of Minnesota's body of work, except for that Butler doesn't have any notable victories and Minnesota has one notable victory ... over Butler! So shouldn't that be the tiebreaker? Shouldn't Minnesota's win over Butler have Minnesota ranked ahead of Butler? Of course it should. But Butler is No. 20 in the Coaches poll and Minnesota is ninth in "others receiving votes." That sort of logic -- or lack of logic -- is also what has Michigan State ranked No. 9 and Florida ranked No. 17 even though Michigan State is 5-1 with a loss to Florida while Florida is 6-0 with a win over Michigan State.

So I ask again: Do the games matter?

To me, they do.

That's why I have Minnesota ahead of Butler and Florida ahead of Michigan State, because head-to-head competition (particularly on a neutral court) should serve as a tiebreaker when two schools' bodies of work are similar. Minnesota's body of work is similar to Butler's body of work just like Florida's body of work is similar to Michigan State's body of work. The only differences are that Minnesota beat Butler and Florida beat Michigan State. They should be ranked accordingly at this point in the season unless, of course, the games don't matter.
Posted on: November 27, 2009 11:40 pm

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

Billy Donovan was supposed to make the 2008 NCAA tournament.

But he didn't.

And he was supposed to make the 2009 NCAA tournament.

But he didn't.

Then Nick Calathes turned pro, Kentucky hired John Calipari and loaded up, Tennessee returned nearly everybody, South Carolina gained respect under Darrin Horn, Kevin Stallings put together a nice roster, and the SEC media processed all that information and picked Florida fifth in the Eastern Division. Me? I actually picked the Gators fourth. But either way, most were debating fourth or fifth in the East, and almost nobody projected Florida to make the 2010 NCAA tournament, meaning Donovan was supposed to make his third straight NIT.

But that's not happening.

Or at least it doesn't look like it now, not after Florida improved to 5-0 Friday night with a 77-74 victory over No. 2 Michigan State in the semifinals of the Legends Classic. Assuming the Gators can now get past Rutgers in Saturday's title game, they'll next appear in every relevant national rankings while folks wonder whether Florida can push Kentucky and Tennessee in the SEC.

And that's the beauty of these early season tournaments, isn't it?

There might be too many of them, and they aren't all well attended. But what they do is create opportunities for teams to prove what they are and what they are not. As I type, I'm sitting courtside at the Anaheim Convention Center watching Portland beat Minnesota and develop into the non-BCS story of November. Last Friday, Syracuse destroyed all skeptics by destroying North Carolina, and this Friday it was Florida forcing the country to view it differently with a huge win over Michigan State.

It's the Gators' biggest victory since they beat Ohio State to win the 2007 NCAA tournament, the type of victory that'll have everybody tearing up any and all preseason projections. Florida fifth in the SEC Eastern Division? It's still possible, I guess. But I wouldn't bet on it now, and I don't think anybody else would either.
Posted on: November 23, 2009 3:18 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2009 3:20 pm

Dear Gary (on Delvon Roe and Derrick Nix)

Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Can Delvon Roe get some love now?  After you called him out last week, he responded with two double-doubles over the weekend. He grabbed 17 boards on Sunday and played like a man possessed. Also, could you call Derrick Nix out for his free throw shooting?  Seemed to work for Delvon.

-- Greg

I didn't call out Roe in the Friday Look Ahead as much as I expressed how difficult it is to watch him struggle given that he was dynamite before injuries stalled his career. But either way, Greg, you're right. Roe was terrific this weekend, and he deserves to be highlighted for getting 10 points and 11 rebounds in Friday's win over Toledo and 10 points and 17 rebounds in Sunday's win over Valpo.

Like I said, terrific.

I was happy to see it.

As for Nix, man, I don't know what to tell you.

He's 1-of-16 from the line, and I'm not sure how someone who actually plays basketball could miss 15 of 16 free throws in his first four college games. I don't even play basketball, and I could do better. You could literally pull anybody out of the stands at the Breslin Center, and they could better. So I'm not sure what's going on. But if I can help by calling him out, consider it done. Dude is shooting 6.3 percent from the free throw line. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.
Posted on: November 9, 2009 5:17 pm

Because I know some of you gamble ...

Bodog.com likes Kansas and Kentucky just as much as I like Kansas and Kentucky .

I visited the gambling site not because I'm a gambler, but because I wanted see the championship odds for certain schools. What I found is that Kansas (4-to-1) is the favorite followed by Kentucky (5-to-1). North Carolina (15-to-2) is third. Then it's Duke (10-to-1), Michigan State (12-to-1), Louisville (12-to-1), Texas (12-to-1), and Villanova (12-to-1).

Click this link (and scroll down) to check it out.
Posted on: October 29, 2009 3:57 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2009 4:02 pm

Payne picks Michigan State

Adreian Payne has committed to Michigan State, Scout.com's Dave Telep and Evan Daniels are reporting.

The 6-foot-9 center picked the Spartans over West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona.

Scout.com ranks Payne as the 19th-best prospect in the Class of 2010. He's the fourth recruit from the class to commit to the Spartans. The others are shooting guard Keith Appling (No. 44 in the Class of 2010), shooting guard Russell Byrd (No. 84), and power forward Alex Gauna.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 29, 2009 12:07 am
Edited on: October 29, 2009 12:09 am

Another elite prospect about to commit

Adreian Payne is expected to announce his college decision Thursday.

The 6-foot-9 center will pick between Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan State and West Virginia.

MaxPreps.com ranks Payne No. 51 in the Class of 2010, but Scout.com and Rivals.com have him 19th and 20th. Either way, Payne is a devastating defensive presence with the physical gifts necessary to play in the NBA someday. He'll be a great recruit for somebody, either Sean Miller, John Calipari, Tom Izzo or Bob Huggins.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com