In November when the pre-season polls were beginning to circulate many NCAA forecasters predicted the Spartans to be a lock for A number one seed in the tourney and to be in fine shape come February. But oh how things can change in the span of a couple months and a team that was blessed with talent and had experience from last years final four run have struggledmightily all season to find their own identity and are now a bubble team going in to the last stages of Conferene play.The Buckeyes on the other hand were a darkhorse in many analysts minds and have simply been unstoppable all year looking like the team most experts thought Michigan State would be but failed to meet expectations. in large part the success of the buckeyes is because of freshman sensation Jared Sullinger and a couple savy veterans taking care of the ball.The game tonight will give spectators a real look at how the Spartans can match up against the countries most elite team thus far in the season and maybe help secure an NCAA tournament bid.Here’s what the Sparty’s have to do in order to come out victorious.
Put it this way the Spartans record cannot be something they dwell on going forward. It never has been a problem in the past for Izzo and his teams to get down on early season miscues but it’s now time to tell your players that the new season is now upon us and it’s your time to prove the rest of the country that you are a valid basketball team. Every player on this team is a winner and they proved that by competing for a national championship last March. Going into this game it is as much about how the Buckeyes respond to losing at Wisconsin and no longer being undefeated than Michigan States internal struggles on and off the Basketball court. This is a great chance for the Spartans to use the us against the world mentality and really deliver a message to every team in the big ten and the country that this team won’t lie down call it a season. all these factors are a way Michigan State can motivate themselves for tonights game but there are many tactical things they’re going to have to go out and execute for them to prove themselves.
The Buckeyes are an inside-outside threat with the basketball and have great perimeter shooters who are in their prime and they have a faboulous freshman in Jared Sullinger that will no doubt be in an NBA uniform next year with either the Cavs or Wizards. The Bucks have three starters who all are shooting over 40% from the field , Junuor guard William Buford is shooting 43.5% from behind the arc, senior David Lighty is shooting 40.7%, and senior John Diebler is shooting a miraculous 47.6 % on the year. Going forward to tonights game the Spartans will simply have to match the Buckeyes possession for possession and cannot go long droughts without scoring and risk falling behind. Ohio State has four players that can beat you and score in double figures, there going to have to pick there poison in this one and just focus on shutting down Sullinger on the glass and not let Diebler beat them off the the dribble or get any second chances to knock down 3 pointers. Wisconsin proved on the weekend that they were able to come back from a huge defecit early in the 2nd quarter thanks in large part to their three point shooting(12 0f 24 on the day) and the play of Jordan Taylor.It’s going to take something special from Michigan States guards tonight to pull of the upset and they’ll have to beat the Bucks at their own game.
Looking ahead a win tonight would be a strong showing in the commitees minds for a tournament bid and it’s important that they finnish strong in their remaining five games.after tonights game they’ll play Illinois at home Saturday, on the road against Minnesota, back home to play #11 Purdue , home at Iowa, and on the road against Michigan. The Illini have been ranked this year and same with the Gophers and Purdue has been a dominant team that no one seems to be talking about so there will be plenty of oppurtunities for the Spartans to get some quality wins in the next month.Let’s hope Michigan State makes a Statment tonight and get a much needed win.
About the Author
Written by Colin Teskey
I Started watching sports at the ripe age of 4 when Michael Jordan was leading the Chicago Bulls to their second three-peat and sixth NBA title. It was through Jordan’s play that inspired me to become an avid sports fan and that you can accomplish anything through hard work. Sports are remarkable in how they can capture your everyday life by leaving you speechless after some spectacular play, leave you depressed after your home team loses, and lift and entire city to its feet( New Orleans Saints).My favorite Sports Teams go as followed for Basebal,l I am a die hard Blue Jays Fan. Gotta rep Canada on this one as the Toronto Blue Jays are the only Canadian team left now that the Expos packed up and left. Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar, and Doc Halladay are my all time favorite Jays. For Football, I've pledged my allegiance to the Philadelphia Eagles. I became a fan when the Mcnabb and T.O show were in town and both helped lead the Eagles all the way to the Superbowl in 2004. My next two favourite teams are my top two and the ones I follow the closest. As I alluded to earlier Michael Jordan was who I grew up watching so I naturally became a Bulls Fan. The Bulls of the nineties were by far the best team ever assembled and I challenge anybody who argues that. Micheal Jordan deserves a lot of credit but he wouldn't have been nearly the player he was without Pippen, Rodman, and many more great teamates. I can't even see the current Miami Heat roster breaking the 95-95 teams record of going 72-10 which may never be broken.My all time Favorite team are the Ottawa Senators. I bleed red and gold and will always be a Sens fan no matter how bad they are. Growing up in Ottawa, I've seen the team go from an expansion team nightmare to one of the premier organizations in the game. They have fallen on hard times recently but my favorite moment as a Sens fan came in the 2007 playoff when Alfie scored on Ryan Miller to send Ottawa to the Cup! When Ottawa went to the Cup the city went in to a frenzy and is something I'll never forget. The current rebuild in Ottawa will take It's toll on the fans, however I know we will be celebrating another cup run in the future.