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Where Will Your Wallet Take You for Spring Vacation?
Jan 26th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Normally [and in some respects feels as if always] a large fractional percentage of TUS Membership gets together during the NCAA Basketball Tournament at the site (Sub Regional, Regional, Final Four) hosting MSU’s drive to the National Championship.  In many respects a road trip to March Madness is effectively our normal Spring Vacation.

In 2017, the new normal may be no appearance by the Women’s or Men’s basketball team.  This condition for 2017 is not only possible, it sits somewhere between likely-to-certain.  Wow, this is hard to believe from such a storied program.  But hey lets not forget – Little Nappy at Paris (LNAP) lost to Clark at Waterloo (CAW) even though Joe Lunardi and KenPom gave Clark 0.001% chance of winning and advancing to the next round.

Given there might be an opportunity to expand your horizons and travel to a non-basketball tournament city for a vacation this spring; where would you (or are actually planning to) go?

Boilermakers @ Spartans Men’s Basketball Gamethread
Jan 24th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Purdue heads to East Lansing to take on the Spartans at the Breslin.

Gametime:  7PM (EST)

National Broadcast: ESPN2

Announcers: Dan Shulman, Dan Dakich and Molly McGrath.

I have two question for which I want answers from every member of TUS as part of their 1st comment.

  1. Final Score Prediction
  2. Based on MSU Football Recruiting news of the past few days, Mark Dantonio’s new nickname should be: A.) d’Poacher, B.) d’Flipper C.) Other (you provide the new nickname)
MSU @ IU in Not Your Father’s Assembly Hall: Gamethread
Jan 21st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

AH New SS Assembly Hall

A trip to Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana from the Breslin Center in East Lansing in 307.2 miles.  However the Assembly Hall of which you probably know – is no longer in existence.

First, lets cover the details of the trip. Technically the bus ride trip (encompassing approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes of time) is travelled almost completely on what is designated as North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) Superhighway (aka United States Interstate Highway 69). However, despite all the declarations and official designations, the NAFTA Superhighway disappears in southern Indianapolis and limps along for 56 miles into Bloomington as Indiana State Highway 37. The MSU Spartans Men’s Basketball team recently travelled this route so that they can take on the Hoosiers of Indiana University this afternoon (4PM EST on ESPN) with the game to be called by Dave Flemming, Dan Dakich and Molly McGrath.

As for Assembly Hall?  It has been completely reimagined.  So in reality, the game is to be conducted on the floorboards of the newly dedicated Mccracken Court at [sic., Cindy] Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall with broadcast technology from the Mark Cuban Center for Media and Technology.  You got it right, your grand-father’s, father’s, brother’s, distant-cousin’s Assembly Hall is long gone.

FB

Führerbunker just after end of WWII.

bobby_knight_chair_toss

A Chair Toss by the Der Führer?

I have never liked Assembly Hall – especially for MSU B1G basketball games in January.  My image is a game played in the Führerbunker, on a cold gray overcast afternoon, resulting in double-digit loss after blowing an early lead and the contest effectively over at half-time.

My perception is that TI/MSU teams have suffered the fates I have imagined.  Well guess what? Not really true.  Likely fake news probably reported by Eyeore from the JustABum Media Center.

The Spartans have beaten IU five straight games and in four of the last six contested at Assembly Hall. It should be noted, that Indiana leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 67-53, including a 44-14 advantage in Bloomington. However, Tom Izzo is 23-13 in his career against Indiana. MSU has won 11 of the last 15 games in the series and 13 of the last 19.  The weather forecast is for partly sunny skies and a game-time temperature of 65 degrees.

So TUS Membership… describe your image of this contest and its outcome!

 

Okay We Know The Personnel – It is Your Team – What Are You Gonna Do?
Jan 17th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The MSU Men’s Basketball team is 12-7 (4-2 BIG).  The grind of the MSU B1G regular-season is put on hold for a mini-break with resumption this weekend against Indiana in Bloomington.

In a command decision, you have put in charge of the squad through the end of the year.

Tell us your plan (and be specific) so as to keep MSU’s NCAA Tourney streak alive.

Are Wildcats in Breakthrough Season? – NW@MSU Mens Basketball Game Thread
Dec 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.

 

Grit and a Few Surprises in MSU Comeback
Dec 28th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

alvin-ellis-drains-20

Alvin Ellis III scores career high 20 against the Gophers

TUS contacted our Compliance Officer for comment about college basketball; “the game is 40 minutes in length in regulation, and five for each Overtime Period.”

Well there you have it.

What are the 3 things you learned from last night’s MSU @ Minnesota Men’s Basketball Game?

Early Start and Changing Landscape – Spartans @ Gophers Game Thread
Dec 27th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The hobbled and tired Spartans of Michigan State are holiday travelers and currently located in Minneapolis Minnesota to start the B1G Men’s basketball season by taking on the re-tooled and optimistic Gophers of the University of Minnesota.

The 12-1 Gophers are 7 point favorites to win their first BIG home opener since 2012 and first B1G opener anywhere under Head Coach Rick Pitino (0-3).  The Spartans (8-5) are short-handed, travel weary, and off to the worst start in history under Hall of Fame Coach Tom Izzo.

Game Time: 9PM (Eastern) ESPN2.  Note: Given the typical time overage of the 7PM broadcast, if you are going to record the game TUS media staff suggests also recording ESPNNews and get screen grabs of ESPNTheApp – which often broadcast the 9PM game until the earlier contest is complete.

The Gophers:

The foundation for the Gophers are Sophomore’s, Junior’s laced with a sprinkling of Freshman – and they are good and getting better with every game. The Gophers are a guard and defense oriented squad.  The Gophers hold the best defensive field goal percentage in the B1G (.371).

Nate Mason (G – JR 13.2PPG), Dupree McBrayer (G – SO 12.6 PPG) and Amir Coffee (G – FR 11.9 PPG) are the three top scorers for the Gophers.  McBrayer and Coffee have string-bean kind of physiques as both are over 6′.5″ in height and 195 lbs. or under in weight.  Senior Guard Akeem Springs (transfer from UW-Milwaukee) is the Gophers sixth-man. Springs has accepted his role, and found his rhythm – scoring in high double figures four of the last five games.  Another transfer, Reggie Lynch (C – JR 6’10”) sees about 20 minutes a game and is 7th in the nation in blocks.

It could be argued the Gophers 12-1 record is somewhere between suspect and a total Sham.  Minnesota has played one game on the road – its only loss – 75-67 at Florida State (12-1 #1 ACC).  Minnesota has for the most part feasted on play-for-pay travel teams* (e.g., Georgia Southern, New Jersey Institute of Technology) at home.  The Gophers did beat Arkansas (11-1 #1 SEC) handily in mid-November (85-71).  As a reminder Pitino and the 2015-16 Gophers (8-23) had the most losses of any team in the 121 years of the program.

In 2012 the #18 Spartans opened the season at Minnesota – falling to the #9 Gophers 76-63 – who were 12-1 in that game as well.

The Spartans:

MSU is 8-5.  TUS Membership knows this squad has huge ground to regain if it hopes to keep MSU’s string of consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament in tact (currently 19 seasons – 3rd active and 4th all-time in NCAA history).  Seeing TUS Membership knows – all too well – the rollercoaster nature of this season; no need to repeat it here.

Trivia:

Without using any assistance can you name the eight Spartans currently playing in the National Basketball Association and their respective teams?

* The Gophers were going to battle the JerseyJohn University MenNotBoys in Short Pants in early November 2016.  However, the game was cancelled as the MenNotBoys In Short Pants were deemed too difficult an opponent.

The Freshman
Dec 6th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

pertaining

The Freshman has many connotations.

The 1925 film The Freshman (starring USMC(Retired) as Harold Lloyd) will do anything to be popular and also fly Bi-Planes.

The 1990 film The Freshman (starring JustABum as Mathew Broderick) will do anything to be accepted by the TUS Mob Headed by BostonSpartan.

The 2016 MSU Mens Basketball Team (starring Nick Ward, Joshua Langford, Cassius Winston, and Special Guest Appearance by Miles Bridges) will do anything to overcome departures from four starters from the 2015/2016 team and season ending pre-season injuries to two 2016/2017 front-court starters (i.e., Schilling, Carter).

The cry from many of the [extremely] few TUS Members who actually view and comment on the site suggest – “Start Tum Tum Nairn and The Freshmen with an Espresso and a twist of Lemon for all 40 minutes.”

Tonight, given a representative sample of this concept – with an excused absence for Bridges – led to a 20+ point victory over the Youngstown State Penguins (a.k.a. The Litigating Tressels) what say you?

Reinvented Arizona, Michigan State open in Armed Forces Classic – Game Thread
Nov 11th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

msu-ua-afc

Well the regular season starts tonight.  Given all of the changes (both teams), injuries (both teams) and suspensions (Arizona) who knows what to expect.  Arizona is down to 8 scholarship players.  MSU has lost its two starting forwards.

The preview from MSUSpartans is [here].

The preview from the Arizona Wildcats is [here].

The preview from Stats Inc. is below.

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MSU Men’s Basketball 2016/2017 = Small Ball?
Nov 11th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

msu-16-17

Get ready for a Roller-Coaster of a season as it relates to MSU Basketball.  Small is the new Big in the B1G.  At least it better be!

By necessity Michigan State University’s basketball team will play small ball for most if not all of the 2016/2017 season.  Why you ask?  Three names – Davis, Carter, Schilling.  Forward (6’10”) Deyonta Davis departed for the NBA after his freshman season. Senior Big Men Ben Carter (6’9″) and Gavin Schilling (6’9″) suffered what appear to be season long injuries to their lower body (aka Knee).  And TUS Executives suggest sitting out the season for both so as to enjoy a marvelous 2017/2018 season.

The Spartans are about to field a starting Lineup that is 3-5 inches shorter than originally envisioned.  Is this a bad thing? Possibly not.  MSU will play 3 even 4 wing type players in its rotation.

Bottom Line: Expect MSU to continue its NCAA Tournament streak – but it may be more at-risk than most would think.  Do not be surprised if MSU has four losses entering B1G play (Arizona, Kentucky, Duke, Battle for Atlantis Tournament).  Do not be surprised if MSU is .500 in B1G play.  If both situations occur, then Dayton in early March may be your vacation location.  However, this group of freshman are very talented, very talented.  MSU may well be in a terrific position come post-season. So who knows!

Quick Observations

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