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Tag:Michigan State
Posted on: March 11, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 12:16 am
 

Friday Wrap-up

NEW YORK -- Kemba Walker dominated at Madison Square Garden again.

Tom Izzo suddenly has a dangerous basketball team again.

And Jimmer went Jimmer in a bigtime way.

Here's Friday's Wrap-up to recap a busy day of college basketball.

Best game: Big East semifinals. Connecticut vs. Syracuse. Did you really think it would end in regulation? "I didn't want it to go six overtimes again," said UConn's Kemba Walker, whose brilliance ensured it would not. The Huskies instead closed this one out in the first OT and advanced to Saturday's title game with a 76-71 victory over the Orange two years after the two schools played that six-overtime classic in this same building. Walker finished with 33 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and six steals, then spent some time chatting outside the media room with President Bill Clinton. Meantime, UConn coach Jim Calhoun used part of his postgame press conference to praise his star and highlight, for the 87th time this week, that one Big East coach didn't vote Walker First Team All-Conference. "He's the Most Valuable Player on any team in the country," Calhoun said. "I'm going to keep saying it."
 
Other best game: North Carolina was down double-digits to Miami at the half, at which point I openly wondered whether Larry Drew was back to playing point guard for the Tar Heels. Turns out, he was not. And that was never more obvious than when Kendall Marshall, Drew's more-talented mid-season replacement, drove into the lane in the final seconds of a tie game and found Tyler Zeller all alone under the basket for an easy layup at the buzzer that gave North Carolina a 61-59 win in the ACC quarterfinals. It was a play that capped an incredible run that allowed the Tar Heels to overcome a 19-point deficit in the final 10 minutes. It also reminded me of what Zeller told me about Marshall last week. "He does a lot of things that make our jobs easy," Zeller said. "He can pass you the ball and you just have to lay it up." As Miami now knows, that's exactly right.

Yet another best game: Virginia Tech probably secured an NCAA tournament bid with a 52-51 win over Florida State in the ACC quarterfinals, but the Hokies couldn't celebrate until Derwin Kitchen's shot at the buzzer that initially seemed to give FSU the win was waved off. The officials huddled around a monitor and correctly concluded that the ball was still in Kitchen's hands when time expired, but just barely. It was a wild scene in Greensboro. Seth Greenberg cried and everything.

Team whose dream remained alive: Whether Alabama can get an at-large bid remains debatable because the Crimson Tide have seven losses outside of the top 50, but their 65-59 overtime win against Georgia in the SEC quarters definitely enhanced their case. The Crimson Tide now have four top-50 wins to help offset those troubling losses, and they're at no risk of taking another "bad" loss before Selection Sunday (provided they meet Kentucky in the semifinals). As for Georgia, man, who knows? The Bulldogs have a better body of work than Alabama despite two losses to Alabama. But a bubble team blowing a double-digit second-half lead to a fellow bubble team is never a good final impression to leave with the Selection Committee.

Team whose dream was crushed: Jerry Palm projected Tulsa as the winner of C-USA's automatic bid after UAB lost Thursday, which means Tulsa entered Friday in the Field of 68 here at CBSSports.com. I'll be honest, it just looked weird. But that projection will change as soon as my colleague updates his projections because UTEP beat Tulsa 66-54 in the C-USA quarterfinals and eliminated the Golden Hurricane from NCAA tournament contention. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Performance I hope you witnessed: Walker's 33 at MSG was the biggest story of the night ... right up until Jimmer Fredette dropped 33 on New Mexico in the first half and finished with a career-high 52 in BYU's 87-76 win in the Mountain West semifinals. The CBSSports.com National Player of the Year was -- ready for this? -- 22-of-37 from the field, and only one of his points came on a free throw. If the members of the Selection Committee want to do the nation a favor, they'll put BYU and UConn in the same region and give us a possible Jimmer vs. Kemba matchup two weekends from now.

Performance I hope you missed: Wisconsin and Penn State did nothing to help the Big Ten's reputation as a slow and boring basketball league. In fact, they might've cemented the reputation by playing a game in which the winning team scored 36 points and the losing team scored 33. Penn State was the winning team, if you care.

 Five things worth noting

1. Nolan Smith suffered a toe injury in the second half of Duke's 87-71 win over Maryland in the ACC quarterfinals and did not return. Mike Krzyzewski said afterward that he wasn't sure if Smith would be back before the end of the ACC tournament but stressed the most important thing is making sure the ACC Player of the Year is available for the NCAA tournament, which will begin for Duke, presumably, next Friday in Charlotte.

2. Memphis finally looked like a team with a roster built to overwhelm C-USA opponents during a 76-56 win over East Carolina in part because Joe Jackson finally looked like somebody worthy of the nickname "King of Memphis." The McDonald's All-American has gone from a local high school legend to a freshman starter for the Tigers to a part-time reserve in less than a year, and it's been tough on him. But Jackson was tremendous against ECU while scoring a career-high 24 points. He made 8-of-12 field goal attempts, 3-of-3 3-point attempts and 5-of-5 free throw attempts, and now the Tigers are just a win over UTEP away from earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

3.
Southern California played its Pac-10 semifinal against Arizona without head coach Kevin O'Neill, who was suspended by his athletic director after a Thursday night incident with an Arizona booster. Assistant Bob Cantu coached the Trojans in O'Neill's absence. They lost 67-62 and are almost certainly headed to the NIT.

4. Ohio State entered this week in position to get a No. 1 seed regardless, but that doesn't mean the Buckeyes wanted or needed to lose their Big Ten tournament opener to Northwestern (if only because there's nothing cool about losing a Big Ten tournament opener to Northwestern). Thanks to Jared Sullinger they avoided the upset. The CBSSports.com National Freshman of the Year finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds in OSU's 67-61 overtime win. Worth noting is that Sullinger shot 18 free throws, i.e., just as many as Northwestern's entire team.

5. If you're surprised Tom Izzo has Michigan State operating at a high level then you haven't been paying attention for the past decade. Somehow, someway, this is what Izzo does. Regardless of whether the Spartans are great, good, average or terrible from November to March, by St. Patrick's Day each year Izzo gets them straight. So of course Michigan State will play in the Big Ten semifinals thanks to a 74-56 win over Purdue that took the Spartans off the bubble. They're now guaranteed to make the NCAA tournament. They'll probably make the Sweet 16, just because.

Final thought: Providence fired Keno Davis Friday and folks immediately started trying to explain why this didn't work. Among the common theories was because the Big East school hired him "with just one year of head coaching experience," which is both wrong and silly. Understand this: Davis didn't fail at Providence because he lacked significant prior experience. He failed at Providence because the school decided to hire the country's hottest young coach in April 2008 with little regard to how he fit with the Friars program. Davis was a bad fit -- and I hope Providence realizes that before it lures its next coach. Hire somebody with experience if you want; I'm not saying that's the wrong route. All I'm saying is that projected greatness and fit are way more important than past experience, and you can look elsewhere in the Big East to see it. Pittsburgh hired Jamie Dixon with zero years of head coaching experience while Marquette hired Buzz Williams with one. Things seems to be going well for those two programs, don't they?

Bottom line, what somebody has done at another school is important, sure.

But it's not nearly as important as what you think somebody can do at your school going forward.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Former Michigan State guard transferring to ISU

Former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious is transferring to Iowa State and will continue his college basketball career playing under Fred Hoiberg, a source told CBSSports.com on Wednesday.

Tom Izzo dismissed Lucious from Michgian State in late January for what was described as conduct detrimental to the program. Lucious visited Iowa State in February and will now join former teammate Chris Allen -- who left Michigan State in the preseason -- as a member of the Cyclones.

Lucious was averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 assists at the time of his dismissal.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Source: Lucious visiting Iowa State

Former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious is visiting Iowa State this weekend and could commit to Fred Hoiberg's program before he leaves campus, a source told CBSSports.com on Friday.

Tom Izzo dismissed Lucious from Michgian State last week for conduct detrimental to the program. A transfer to ISU would allow Lucious to rejoin former teammate Chris Allen, who left left Michigan State in the preseason and transferred to Iowa State. Allen will be eligible next season.

Lucious was averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 assists at the time of his dismissal.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Spartans projected to have losing league record

I've got a Michigan State column coming up on the site.

I'll Tweet it when it's ready.

But for now, know this about the Spartans' 72-52 loss at Iowa late Wednesday: It means Michigan State is 5-5 in the Big Ten and now projected (at KenPom.com) to finish with a losing league record for the first time ever under Tom Izzo. Such would likely have Michigan State missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997 -- the same year Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan took UW–Platteville to the second round of the Division III tournament.

Michigan State plays Ryan's Badgers on Sunday.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 25, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 11:28 pm
 

MSU's Lucious dismissed for rest of season

Michigan State junior Korie Lucious has been dismissed from the Spartans basketball team for the remainder of the season, coach Tom Izzo announced late Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, Korie Lucious displayed conduct detrimental to the program," Izzo said. "My focus is on this team for the remainder of the season.”

It's unclear whether Lucious might be allowed to return next season.

He, like Izzo, released a statement Tuesday night.

“I didn’t live up to the standards of the program," Lucious said. "Unfortunately, I let my teammates, my coaches, and myself down, and wish them the best for the rest of the season."

Lucious was averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 assists for the 25th-ranked Spartans.

Michigan State plays Michigan on Thursday at the Breslin Center.
Posted on: January 8, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2011 7:32 pm
 

Life on the road isn't easy, even for good teams

A Saturday schedule with just one game between ranked schools seemed boring on the surface.

That's why I stayed home this weekend.

If only No. 9 Missouri, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 17 Kansas State, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 19 UCF and No. 22 Vanderbilt could've done the same. Maybe then they wouldn't be six ranked teams that just endured losses to unranked teams in hostile environments. Yes, it was one of those days in college basketball. Every time I flipped the channel some ranked team was going down on the road. The result was an afternoon of court-stormings, and Sunday night's Top 25 (and one) is sure to be a shuffled mess.

For those who missed it, here you go:
  • Colorado 89, No. 9 Missouri 76
  • Georgia 77, No. 10 Kentucky 70
  • Oklahoma State 76, No. 17 Kansas State 62
  • Penn State 66, No. 18 Michigan State 62
  • Houston 76, No. 19 UCF 71
  • South Carolina 83, No. 22 Vanderbilt 75 (OT)
Georgia is the only unranked team of that bunch that'll likely break into the updated rankings, so let's not pretend this is the day that validates Penn State, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Houston or South Carolina. Yes, Colorado (12-4) and Oklahoma State (13-2) are both solid. But Saturday's results say less about them than they say about how difficult it is, even for nationally ranked teams, to go on the road and win in conference play.

(Worth noting: No. 4 Syracuse nearly lost Saturday at Seton Hall, and Seton Hall is 7-9.)

No. 6 San Diego State, No. 13 Georgetown and No. 20 Illinois are among the ranked teams on the road against unranked teams next Saturday. My advice: Don't be shocked -- or even mildly surprised -- if some of them (or all of them) experience the same fate that Missouri, UK, KSU, Michigan State, UCF and Vandy experienced this Saturday. If it happens, it won't necessarily mean they were overrated. It'll just mean they had to travel.
Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:02 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 4:11 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

You want to punish Tom Izzo for scheduling aggressively?

Fine.

But now look. You're in the Poll Attacks.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

Associated Press poll: I have Michigan State ranked 15th in the Top 25 (and one).

The Spartans are 20th in the AP poll.

Both rankings are reasonable. But what's unreasonable is leaving the Spartans completely off a Top 25 ballot, which is what 13 AP voters did, and I don't understand why. Is it because they've suffered four losses against a ridiculous schedule? Because if that's the reason, that's a stupid reason. And, yes, I can explain. But let's first look at the losses.

They are to:
  • No. 1 Duke on the road
  • No. 4 Connecticut on a neutral court
  • No. 5 Syracuse on a neutral court
  • No. 13 Texas at home
I admit, that's not ideal. It's not what I expected (or what Izzo expected, either). But those are games most teams, if not all teams, ranked between 15th and 25th would also lose, point being that to punish Michigan State for losing those games is to punish Izzo for scheduling aggressively, and that's not right. Given the way some writers vote, Izzo could've scheduled a bunch of buy games, cruised and remained ranked in everybody's top five. But he instead decided to challenge his team and create some interesting matchups in November and December, and I'm not going to penalize him for doing it.

But who has Michigan State beaten, you ask?

Washington, for starters.

The Spartans have a neutral-court win over Washington.

So that means Michigan State has a win over the Pac-10 favorite and losses to four top 13 teams, and 13 writers somehow determined that the Spartans' body of work is unworthy of a Top 25 vote. It's dumb on the surface but even dumber when you dig deeper. This being the Poll Attacks, I dug deeper. And Gary Laney from The Advocate in Louisiana is going to wish I wouldn't have because his ballot is bogus.

He has Cincinnati ranked 22nd.

Now I could spend the next few sentences explaining how the Bearcats would likely have more than four losses if they played Michigan State's schedule and how the Spartans would probably be undefeated if they played Cincinnati's schedule, but I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to tell you that Gary has Washington ranked 24th. That's fine with me in general because Washington's body of work is similar to Michigan State's. Washington is 8-3 instead of 9-4. But all three losses are to good teams -- specifically No. 11 Kentucky, No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 20 Michigan State. Yes, Michigan State. Michigan State beat Washington in the Maui Invitational, which is why Gary's ballot makes no sense.

How can you rank Washington but not rank Michigan State?

They have comparable losses, sure. But Washington has no good wins, and one of Washington's losses is to Michigan State. I mean, that's pretty basic stuff, right? I imagine it is to most, but it's not to Gary Laney. Or to Steven Bradley from The Journal in South Carolina. He has Washington 19th and Michigan State unranked. (Perhaps he's never heard of Maui. Who knows?) And then there's J.P. Butler from the Olean Times in New York. He didn't rank Michigan State but he has Baylor 21st even though Baylor has no good wins and three losses to unranked teams.

Question: If Baylor is 8-3 with no good wins and losses to unranked Gonzaga, unranked Washington State and unranked Florida State, what do you think the Bears would be if they had played a 13-game schedule featuring matchups with No. 1 Duke, No. 4 UConn, No. 5 Syracuse and No. 13 Texas?

Answer: A four-loss team, at least.

Steve DeShazo of the Free Lance-Star in Virginia?

He has Michigan State unranked, too. But he's got Oklahoma State at No. 23 and Cleveland State at No. 25 even though Oklahoma State is 11-1 with no good wins and a loss to unranked Virginia Tech while Cleveland State is 13-1 with no good wins and a double-digit loss to unranked West Virginia. So I guess the lesson is this: If you want Steve to notice you, schedule weak, win a lot of games against bums and lose to an unranked team. But don't you dare schedule aggressively a lose games to ranked opponents, because that'll get you dropped real fast.

Whatever.

Let's move on.

Coaches poll: As you can probably tell by the above Poll Attack, I hate voters who highlight teams simply for building records against weak opponents. It rewards a conservative approach, and I'm against that. So shame on the coaches who put Cincinnati (24 points), Oklahoma State (11 points) and Utah State (four points) on their ballots. I've already told you about Cincinnati (no good wins) and Oklahoma State (no good wins and one bad loss). Now let me tell you about Utah State, the WAC school that's 11-2 with no good wins. Granted, the Aggies' losses (to BYU and Georgetown) are better than OSU's losses (or Baylor's losses, for that matter). But there's not even a decent win on their resume. Thus, Utah State shouldn't be getting votes even though Utah State probably deserves votes as much as Cincinnati deserves votes, and more than Oklahoma State deserves votes. The point is that none of them deserve votes. Stacking wins against bad teams is nothing more than stacking wins against bad teams. It's fine for a school that projected to be strong in the preseason because you can still believe in what you thought you knew. But a gaudy record against a weak schedule should never make you start believing in somebody, which is why I won't start believing in Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Utah State or Oklahoma State until at least one of them records one win against a quality opponent. It would be nice if coaches who vote in the coaches poll did the same.
Posted on: December 17, 2010 5:29 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2010 5:58 pm
 

NCAA suspends Izzo for secondary violation

The NCAA has suspended Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for Saturday's game against Prairie View A&M because his program committed a secondary violation by employing an "Individual Associated with a Prospect" during a basketball camp in June.

“I’ve always placed a high importance on following the rules and pride myself on adhering to high standards of professional conduct and doing things the right way,” Izzo said. “This is an isolated and inadvertent secondary violation of a new rules interpretation. I regret that it happened. While I accept the findings that we unintentionally violated the broad letter of the interpretation, we did not violate the intent of the interpretation in that we did not receive any benefit, nor did we attempt to gain an advantage. It’s unfortunate that this is a unprecedented situation where a secondary violation is accompanied by a prescribed suspension. I have all the confidence in my staff and team that they’ll play hard on Saturday, and I look forward to joining them again on Sunday."

Michigan State is 7-3 and ranked 14th nationally.
Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com