Most cbb folks know the teams and their players, their records and the history of this rivalry. My Michigan friends will never admit to any parity whatsoever between the schools (in any regard, including basketball - this year)...but they'd be first to admit there is no team anywhere they'd rather beat. It's funny, there are probably no two programs in the country who, while studiously ignoring each others' records/performances (to-date) publically, know more about each others' strengths, weaknesses and potential...in other words, expect no surprises.
I'm a tad spooked...not because UM's "Pretty Boy Jumpshooters" (©IZZONE2012) have been playing NC-calibre ball for weeks now...not because MSU is (as was characterized elsewhere on these boards recently) a "Walking MASH Ward"...but because this game is being billed as a MUST SEE, a major media hype matchup...and Sparty (for every gawd damned reason you can imagine) ever seems to find a way to bungle big opportunities on the national stage. Who knows though, it might happen.
UM 78 - MSU 83
UM 78 - MSU 83Not so fast, my friend H2S . . . even at Breslin Michigan wins this one. Both teams will be "up" no matter how badly they are hurting.
My thought is UM will struggle with our post game.
Michigan needs their freshmen to be more assertive, Glenn Robinson's talent is ridiculous and it's been being wasted. Stauskas was very aggressive to start the season looking to prove himself, well I want to see more swagger again from him.
Burke and Hardway solid as always, Michigan is young and they will only win if these young players get back in the swing of things. The talent is through the roof but they flow hasn't been there as of late. Mitch McGary is proving to be a stud, Horford can play but is inconsistent. I'd like to see a little more Caris Levert, he has shown that he can defend and doesn't fold under pressure.
Michigan State has more talent than last year but Draymond Green was the heart and soul of that team. They still are lacking a true leader in my opinion, also they can be prone to turning the ball over a ton, I honestly don't understand why. Sure they don't have a Trey Burke dishing it out but Appling and Trice both can pass well. Also in Gary Harris, Denzel Valentine, Branden Dawson, even Derrick Nix they have guys that are unselfish and can pass. They like pretty much every Tom Izzo team seem to be below their potential this early in the season but you got to believe he'll have them firing on all cylinders when it matters most.
Like I said MSU can turn the ball over a lot at times, if that happens here it can allow UM to get going in the open court, that could really get them going as they haven been struggling lately in the halfcourt. Get their confidence up and it might be hard for MSU to stop their momentum. Although the could be said about the Spartans, Payne and Nix really could wreak havoc, Glenn Robinson has the tools to be a great defender but he's undersized here in the interior and despite his phyiscal makeup he doesn't seem to have figured out the defensive game yet. Also Dawson has been coming on strong he could have a big game.
The Wolverines need Stauskas to step up big, GRIII has to get back to getting points in transition, putbacks, cuts at the basket, and hitting open shots if he has the opportunity. If Michigan gets them two to play up to their potential Michigan should be able to win. If not it will be a tough game to call. Hard to pick a team here, I love both teams, everything says take State but I'll take Michigan 73 - 70. Both teams are Final 4 caliber, if Michigan wins here wouldn't be suprised to see Michigan State win in Ann Arbor on March 2nd.
UM is a great team, has been all year. MSU has been a work in progress, but certainly has progressed. I am excited for the game and for Michigan. Your FL Alumi and Sports Boosters did not even know you had a basketball team two years ago. That football school thought their own BB team was a joke, sad but true. I laugh, my UM family Grads and Sports Boosters are glued to the BB games now. I used to let them know when UM BB games were and they laughed. It's Funny but yet sad.That is sad, very sad, I'm no alumni that's why I choose to root for all Michigan teams. However I've been cheering for Michigan since I can remember and I'm only 21 so I haven't seen anything good out of Michigan basketball until the past few seasons. But for alumni to be fairweather fans of their own alma mater, well like you said that is "SAD".
I have State winning at home on the pickem thread. Both teams are looking very good lately and this is going to be a bruiser. Good luck to both teams and fans. Cept izzone.