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Are Wildcats in Breakthrough Season? – NW@MSU Mens Basketball Game Thread
December 30th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The Northwestern Wildcats (12-2 1-0) head into tonight’s B1G Men’s Basketball game with the Spartans (9-5 1-0) at the Breslin Center with promise, excitement and lofty goals:

  1. Finish the B1G Regular Season with a winning record
  2. Earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament

With three 20 win seasons in the last seven years the Wildcats are not exactly a door-mat of a program.  They have been in the hunt up to the last game – including last year’s team – for a NCAA berth.  However, the Wildcats are in the B1G Conference and as such have struggled mightily to break .500 in conference play – the last time being 1968.  The Wildcats have only finished above 4th in the BIG twice since WWII.  While winning the National Championship in 1930/31, the Wildcats are one of the very few programs in a major conference to have never played in the NCAA Tourney in its current incarnation. All of this may be about to change.

The Wildcats are 14.4 seconds and two possessions away from being undefeated.  Their key wins have been over #22 Texas and Wake Forest in the B1G/ACC Challenge.  The Wildcats lost to ND and Butler while holding leads in the waning moments of both games.  The Wildcats beat Penn State on the road by 10 (87-77) to begin B1G play – earning their 9th straight win.

And as for MSU?  About the only thing TUS Membership wants to know – Miles Bridges (at this moment in time) has not been cleared to play basketball.  Miles has shot baskets, but not run full-court drills with his teammates.

 


45 Responses  
  • 79 Spartan writes:
    December 30th, 201611:32 amat

    It could be that we come out hot with a 20 point lead fading to a 5 point win at the end, or it could be a nail biter down to the wire with free throws making the difference, or it could be that we come out shooting cold and get down big only to battle back with NW finally winning a close one.

    Broken record time: We must shoot the ball well from the outside and keep the TOs to single digits, driving to the lane and either making the layup or dishing for the dunk or a kickout trey.

    And for the love of God, please let us have decent refs that don’t want to be participants in the outcome of the game and just let them play basketball. (I seriously doubt that will happen. If it comes down to a free throw contest, I’m not sure we get the “W”.)

    • Jeffrey Lubeck writes:
      December 30th, 20161:40 pmat

      TUS Membership please read link [here] before tonight’s game. Let’s see if we agree

      • 79 Spartan writes:
        December 30th, 20163:53 pmat

        Any article intended to improve an attribute – any attribute – that tells you what NOT to do, usually isn’t worth the read.

        Regarding free throws: I’m a square-up, elbow down, bend knees and extend with a fluid motion and release, eyes on the back of the rim and follow through guy. The pre-shot routine is beneficial to calm the nerves in tight situations and must be done as a consistent routine every free throw for it to work in those tight instances.

        Just watch Steve Nash – arguably the most consistent shooter from the charity stripe in NBA history.

        • JerseyJohn writes:
          December 30th, 20165:09 pmat

          my high school coach had us dribble 3 times and on the third maneuver the ball so the tip of our pinkie was touching the rubber part where the air needle went in. I still do it to this day.

    • Jeffrey Lubeck writes:
      December 30th, 20161:43 pmat

      So much to agree with as it relates to what you think needs to occur tonight. Easier said then done and that does not include the fact there will also be an opposing team on the court at the same time.

  • 89 Chemistry writes:
    December 30th, 20162:41 pmat

    You know I love these historical reviews of MSU and its foes, Jeff! But gee whiz — I did not get you anything for Xmas…

    The mbb game is at six PM Eastern, on BTN. Vegas bettors indirectly imply a 69-67 MSU win.

    Last night, MSU lost to WMU in hockey; the icers are down 3-1 to the Gulos at last check. Go Green!

  • 89 Chemistry writes:
    December 30th, 20162:46 pmat

    Separately, ICYMI: Safety Montae Nicholson has declared for the NFL draft one year early.

    Nicholson got All-B1G Honorable Mention by coaches and media after the 2016 season, and he was was MSU’s second-most prolific tackler last year. Solari broached the possibility that #9 might declare for the Draft four weeks ago.

    Although I do not believe Nicholson will make any 2017 NFL final cut, I would not count on MSU being better off without him in 2017.

    • JustABum writes:
      December 30th, 20165:07 pmat

      I am disappointed to see Nicholson go. He’d benefit from a mother year with a good D-line to create some pressure for INT’s. But, If he’s able to perform at MSU’s pro combine day he may be okay.

    • USMC Retired writes:
      December 30th, 20166:27 pmat

      He was on the field for almost EVERY long TD run UP the MIDDLE or pass over the MIDDLE

  • Kindle writes:
    December 30th, 20164:30 pmat

    Had a photo/text a few just before tip-off. Dr. Muffin is in the Brez tonight!!

  • JustABum writes:
    December 30th, 20164:32 pmat

    Bridges is wearing a uniform… WTH?

    Good to see Ellis hot again.

    • USMC Retired writes:
      December 30th, 20166:27 pmat

      Just getting use to putting it on again, prolly

  • JerseyJohn writes:
    December 30th, 20165:00 pmat

    memo to montae Nicholson. here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?

    ellis should now get all of Harris’s minutes.

  • JustABum writes:
    December 30th, 20165:42 pmat
  • JerseyJohn writes:
    December 30th, 20166:00 pmat

    Collins is a duke crybaby, all of their points this half are foul shots and he’s still bitching at the refs. macquaid is beginning to grind me. at least make your foul shots son.

  • JustABum writes:
    December 30th, 20166:25 pmat

    Time to mute P’s um announcers.

    • USMC Retired writes:
      December 30th, 20166:30 pmat

      I couldn’t watch it as BTN doesn’t make the cut on TV’s here in SEC country

      • JustABum writes:
        December 30th, 20166:41 pmat

        Man that’s rough. Are you able to subscribe to BTN2go.com and view on the laptop or via usb /hdmi cable to a TV?

        I am able to watch nearly all games while in Ireland via internet with or w/o BTN subscription.

        • USMC Retired writes:
          December 30th, 20166:59 pmat

          No, I’lll be back to my TV with BTN on the 2nd, thank’s for the concern

          • JustABum writes:
            December 30th, 20167:02 pmat

            Well, enjoy Preservation Hall and French Qtr.

            • USMC Retired writes:
              December 31st, 20167:10 pmat

              Had the most fun dinner at a place called Murial’s while sitting at the ‘Ghost table’ interacting with the folks on Ghost tours was a HOOOOOT – oh, and the food was marvelous.

  • GoSt8Go writes:
    December 30th, 20169:22 pmat

    Jeff, Texas isn’t any good and will struggle to be .500 this year. Spartans are getting better without Miles, without 2 bigs. I’m for letting things play out a bit before putting much stock into predictions.

  • Ghost Of Biggie writes:
    December 30th, 201610:17 pmat

    The Izzites showed you don’t have to have overwhelming size to play good defense. The D is what made this game a win. That being said, despite the BTN hype of the ‘Cats This looked like a typical day late and a dollar short Northwestern team.

  • Ghost Of Biggie writes:
    December 30th, 201610:48 pmat

    The Fighting Hairballs go down under their own weight. Exposed for what they really were, a team that played over it’s head for two years. A good but not great defense and a mediocre offense that can’t run the ball. Didn’t want to root for either team. UM just because and FSU for the annoying chant. Found myself rooting for the team in the striped shirts because they didn’t have as many players as the other teams. The ones they did have took command of the game.

    Could this have been a preview of what to expect in the rest of the B1G bowl games?

    • 79 Spartan writes:
      December 31st, 20168:21 amat

      Didn’t want waste my time watching those AAs. Not gonna give the Ambitron bean counters more eyeballs. Screw the Skunkbears!

  • JustABum writes:
    December 31st, 20165:06 amat

    The refs called an early INT against the Arrogant Arses and FSU’s mobile QB handed off or passed to a fast RB to earn the win that proved the pundits WRONG. Wrong again DEAR! Wrong again!

  • I Believe writes:
    December 31st, 20167:28 amat

    Some facts to share with arrogant arses and Wal*Mart Wolverines …

    — Michigan State has 11 wins in five of its last seven seasons. Michigan has five 11-win seasons since 1902.

    — Michigan lost three of its last four games. The last time the Wolverines defeated a team that currently has a winning record: Oct. 1 vs. Wisconsin (in Ann Arbor).

    — Michigan ended up 0-3 in games played outside the state of Michigan. OK, 1-3 if you count the Rutgers game.

    • JustABum writes:
      December 31st, 20168:16 amat

      That is the reality of um. Not as good as advertised. Inflated stats based on a favourable schedule and AA started to unravel during a trip to EL to play a poor MSU team. Our Spartans exposed them with a good RB, a bandaged OL and an inexperienced mobile QB – BL.

      • 79 Spartan writes:
        December 31st, 20168:22 amat

        +3 Got THAT right!!!

    • GoSt8Go writes:
      December 31st, 20165:29 pmat

      I like the way you talk

      https://youtu.be/Sjfd4hnE-PI

  • 79 Spartan writes:
    December 31st, 20168:17 amat

    Good to see that in spite of my calling the refs out for trying to be too involved in the game in my pre-game first post, that we can overcome their choppiness causing meddling to win anyway. To me, that is huge as anyone with decent vision could see we were gonna run them out of the Bres. Bodes well for our team going forward.

  • JerseyJohn writes:
    December 31st, 20169:13 amat

    the more articles I read from couch, the more dumbfounded I am that he has a job as a sportswriter. he makes these idiotically wrong proclamations and predictions and two weeks later completely changes course. the guy is a real hack. sorry, I just couldn’t hold it in any longer.

  • Ben Green writes:
    December 31st, 20169:14 amat

    Solid win by the Spartans over a pretty good NW team many project to get in the NCAA tourney. Particularly impressive were the resounding 43-27 rebounding edge and solid D, holding the Cats to below 37% on FG’s and 3s. Hopefully this second impactful game by Ellis portends of good things to come. Nice to see Ward hit 3 of 4 FT’s.

    • Ben Green writes:
      December 31st, 20169:18 amat

      It was also nice to see Izzo with his arm around Winston coaching him on the sideline and refreshing to see him coaching the team positively on timeouts toward the end of the game instead of glaring at a player in rage.

      • Kindle writes:
        December 31st, 201610:42 pmat

        Like!

  • I Believe writes:
    December 31st, 201612:09 pmat

    Three upsets in the ACC today …
    — Virginia Tech 89, No. 5 Dook 75
    — Georgia Tech 75, No. 9 North Carolina 63
    — No. 20 Florida State 60, No. 12 Virginia 58

    Which begs the question: How soon before the Spartans are ranked again? Or, do we want MSU to keep flying below the radar for another month?

    • GoSt8Go writes:
      December 31st, 20165:29 pmat

      I like them under the radar, wanting it, before the expectations come back.

      • Kindle writes:
        December 31st, 201610:43 pmat

        Agreed. Remain unranked. Be hungry. Feed on it.

  • LeeBee writes:
    December 31st, 201612:36 pmat

    I don’t watch much NCAAM basketball other than the Spartans; but, I believe no other coach does as much 1 on 1 coaching on the sidelines as TI does.

  • 89 Chemistry writes:
    December 31st, 20162:47 pmat

    Gotta jet for festivities, and will likely be off the grid until Tuesday. Ergo, I am mailing commentary in on the NU game with six hot takes from other people:
    http://spartanavenue.com/2016/12/31/michigan-state-basketball-3-things-learned-vs-northwestern/
    http://www.theonlycolors.com/2016/12/30/14131808/three-takeaways-spartans-hold-off-northwestern-61-52

    Good Riddance, 2016! Happy New Year! Happy Asimov Day! And, as always, Go Green!

  • GoSt8Go writes:
    December 31st, 20165:31 pmat

    TUS and yours, Happy New Year. Stay safe tonight.

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 31st, 20167:04 pmat

    Before I get wrapped up in beads and silliness: Here’s hoping TUS have a very Merry (and safe) New Years Eve and a glorious 2017 – I know I plan to!

  • LeeBee writes:
    December 31st, 20168:47 pmat

    The team in the top 25 with the most losses has lost 3. It will take a while before we are in that group.

  • I Believe writes:
    December 31st, 20168:53 pmat

    Happy New Year dear friends and TUS members. May 2017 be Spartan green from start to finish.

  • Kindle writes:
    December 31st, 201610:45 pmat

    Back at you.


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