Saturday, August 13, 2022

Sports | Basketball

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Izzo: Big Ten deserves credit

The Big Ten is portrayed in the national media as the black sheep of the major conferences, and Tom Izzo doesn't like it. With the Big Ten's best record, MSU (16-9 overall, 11-3 Big Ten) is nearly a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

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Turnovers key to win

What a difference a game makes. Michigan's improbable win against Wisconsin on Sunday suddenly thrust the Wolverines into the batch of Big Ten NCAA Tournament hopefuls.

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Spartans control Big Ten destiny

Like an aging boxer short on money, the MSU basketball team refused to give up. And as the Big Ten season winds down to its final rounds, the Spartans are proving the beatings they took only made them stronger. After MSU's first Big Ten game, a loss to Wisconsin, the team was two games under 500 - its worst start since the 1987-88 season - and had lost each of its marquee nonconference matchups.

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Anderson leads team to victory over Wildcats

The Spartans were glad to have a productive Alan Anderson back. "I was really happy for Alan Anderson, coming back off his worst game as a Spartan to maybe one of his best, if you look at his total line," MSU head coach Tom Izzo said. Coming off a zero-point, four-foul, two-turnover, one-assist performance in 10 minutes against Purdue, the junior swingman scored 12 points, dished out six assists and had two steals, leading the Spartans to a 66-56 victory over Northwestern on Saturday. The win keeps MSU (15-9 overall, 10-3 Big Ten) in sole possession of first place in the conference, a half-game ahead of Illinois (18-5, 9-3). After shooting 40.9 percent against Purdue, the Spartans regained their stroke, shooting 54 percent (27 for 50) against Northwestern.

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Izzo lashes out against 'U' student fan section

Tom Izzo loves the Izzone - 90 percent of the time. It's the other 10 percent that makes him question having the Spartans' cheering section. Late in the second half of MSU's 69-58 win over Minnesota on Saturday, the Izzone started chanting "UN-EM-PLOY-MENT" to Golden Gophers head coach Dan Monson, the main reason being Minnesota's 1-10 record in the conference. Izzo said he didn't hear it in the waning minutes of the game, but he was "ticked off" when he caught word of the chant. "If I would have heard that, it would have been worth a technical to walk over and smack somebody," Izzo said.

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Win keeps 'U' second in Big Ten

The Spartans' win against Minnesota wasn't exactly fit for ESPN Classic, but at this point in the Big Ten season, they'll take it. "We are in this mode where we have to keep winning," head coach Tom Izzo said.

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Timely Turnaround

There must be something about head coach Tom Izzo's halftime speeches. In a scene repeated time after time this season, the Spartans sputtered from the opening tip until the first-half buzzer.

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Illini pummel Spartans in blowout

Champaign, Ill. - The Spartans figured they couldn't win every game with offense alone, and they got hard proof of that against Illinois. The Spartans (12-9 overall, 7-3 Big Ten) gave the Illini too many offensive opportunities, and Illinois (16-5, 7-3) took advantage, outshooting MSU on its way to a 75-51 win. MSU's defense has concerned coach Tom Izzo throughout the season, but the Spartans have recently overcome that with a high-powered offense.

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Spartans take road, seek revenge against Illinois

The past is in the past, or so the saying goes. But the Spartans say last year's game against Illinois in Champaign isn't erased from their memories. It's a game that MSU would like to forget, but for the sake of revenge, the team has scrapped through a year's load of memories to bring the 70-40 shellacking to the forefront of its brain. At one point, the Spartans trailed 69-28 with less than three minutes to play in the game before ending the contest on a 12-1 run. "Oh, we remember," senior center Jason Andreas said.

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Milestone has Izzo considering future

When it comes to the expectations placed on college basketball coaches these days, perhaps Janet Jackson said it best with the title of her 1986 hit, "What Have You Done for Me Lately?" Coach Tom Izzo will have a chance to notch his 200th win as MSU's head coach against Iowa on Wednesday.

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Downtrodden

West Lafayette, Ind. - The Spartans had the chance to make a statement to the Big Ten on Sunday afternoon, but they fumbled the opportunity. MSU had No.

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Spartans' 'solid defense' key to string of victories

Refusing to be discounted as a Big Ten contender, the Spartans delivered another dominating win, tossing their hat into the tight conference race. MSU (7-7 overall, 2-1 Big Ten) followed up an 18-point win over Penn State on Wednesday with a 71-54 mauling of Michigan on Saturday afternoon. It was the first time since the end of November that MSU put together back-to-back wins and the first time the Spartans began living up to the No.

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Spartans shut down Nittany Lions

The Spartans wanted to defend their case as a contender for the Big Ten title. Wednesday night against Penn State, they did it with defense. MSU smothered the Nittany Lions all night en route to a 76-58 victory in front of a jubilant Breslin Center crowd. "I think we got back to our old selves," MSU head coach Tom Izzo said.

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Duke, 'U' collide for first time since '99

On Sunday afternoon, MSU senior center Jason Andreas and his fellow captains, junior guard Chris Hill and junior swingman Alan Anderson, lifted the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic trophy. Minutes after the game, the Duke lineup appeared on the dry-erase board in the Spartans' locker room. "We're going to enjoy this championship for a couple hours," Andreas said after MSU's 89-81 win over DePaul.