TAMPA, Fla. — Just a typical Sunday evening for your daylight-saving and pal Uncle Mel as the momentum of doing nothing was interrupted by a phone call.
As your old phone-buddy uncle reached for the old fashion phone, picked up and rested the phone next to his ear, the voice on the other end was a man that had some excited news to share.
“Are sitting down, my friend?” asked the man. “Your old friend Tom here and guess what we made it!”
Your old-joke loving uncle can go along with any joke and enjoy a good belly laugh.
“This is no joke!”
For 20 years now, Michigan State University men’s basketball team has made an appearance in the big dance-The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and this year is no different for the Spartans.
Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo is excited that his team will be a ninth-seed in the tournament and will play Miami University the No.8 seed from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Izzo and his Spartans will take the court against the Hurricane in the Midwest Regional inside the BOK Arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Friday March 17 and the tipoff is scheduled for 9:20 p.m.
“In General-I really, really mean this – I’m proud of this team for what they have accomplish,” Izzo said. “It won’t be the biggest accomplishment we’ve had and it will not go down by many fans as a real accomplishment but I think we’re ready to try and make a run and it is that time of the year.”
It was a long Sunday afternoon waiting for the call and after the news came in Izzo made a call to Uncle Mel to extend an invite.
“Come on Uncle Mel!” Izzo said. “It will be like old times!”
Uncle Mel gently reminded his old pal about last year’s disappointment against Middle Tennessee State University.
His old friend did not take issue with that except to remind uncle Mel that just like him that is ancient news.
So the 2016-17 basketball season for the Spartans continues and that is a good thing for all of the Michigan State fans that follow this team.
A chance to redeem themselves especially after being embarrassed by a good Middle Tennessee State University team.
A chance to play against the Atlantic Coast Conference, a chance to show the NCAA that their faith in Michigan State University was justified.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I wasn’t ecstatic to get in,” Izzo said. “I told my players that everyone thinks it is my time of time of the year when it is the program’s time of the year. The program has done this year after year with different players and that was important.”
The streak seemed to be hanging over the heads of the team like a gray cloud for the last couple months of the season.
Izzo told his favorite uncle that he is not really related to, that his team really relies on the freshman that are on this squad but sometime that is the joy of coaching this team.
“It was imp, mainly for coach Izz,” Miles Bridges said. “He’s put in a lot of work but he’s not out there playing so we got to do what we need to do what we need to do is win.”
It will be a short celebration for the Spartans, the work must start right away in order to be prepared for Miami University.
“So what you Uncle Mel?” Tom asked. “Care to join us in Tulsa?”
Who can refuse Izzo?
The answer is simple-nobody!
As your old uncle placed the phone back on the cradle, the suitcase came out from it’s not so secret hiding place and started to become useful by catching the flannel shirts, blue jeans and of course cowboy boots.
With the sound of western-swing music blasting through the speakers, a trip to Tulsa is exactly what the doctor order for your old Uncle Mel and for Michigan State University.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.