...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Illinois 53, Some Weird Guys 46. They're not healthy yet.
Let's go win a title tonight.
ca-thar-sis (noun): the purging of emotions, or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
The question of whether or not John Beilein and the Michigan basketball program has reached parity with Tom Izzo’s Spartan program has been answered. It’s not a matter of opinion anymore. It’s not subject to the vagaries of partisan fandom that cloud objectivity.
Six of Eight. Six. Of. Eight.
That’s science folks. Pure, simple, unassailable statistics; and it is so, so sweet. As Beilein has built his program from tournament bubble team to conference title contender to conference champion and finally Final Four program, the measurement of Beilein’s Michigan to Izzo’s Spartans has been the theme in local media, with the narrative typically being, “Michigan’s closing the gap, but MSU is still the dominant program”. After Sunday, that narrative is blown to smithereens. Any media talking head trying to advance the notion that Tom Izzo still has the edge over John Beilein is just trolling for internet clicks. Check the math guys.
Six of Eight.
The 21stcentury up to this point has been tough for Michigan fans. We’ve all had to suffer a slow, agonizing decline in many of our beloved sports teams. To add insult to injury, this decline coincided with the rise of the internet and social media, almost as if Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook just so our rivals could chip away at the prestige of our beloved Michigan. Nowhere has this been more pronounced than in basketball, where we not only saw our once proud program fall in the volcanic morass of NCAA sanctions and probation, but saw our hated rival rise in its wake. It chafed our collective ego to see Tom Izzo elevated by the Dick Vitale’s of the world to the status of Big 10 John Wooden, all the while ignoring the subtle fact that the Spartan’s rise correlated almost directly with Michigan’s fall. And while we as Michigan fans suspected that the Spartan’s emperor may have no clothes, such insight was met by derision by the Spartan faithful as sour grapes, boosted by massive winning streaks over half a decade.
Today that narrative is tossed on its head. Heading into Sunday, Spartan fans conviction that Izzo would right the ship in this game was absolute. It was what he and the Spartans had always done in the past. MSU would come into Crisler and beat Michigan and claim the drivers seat to the conference championship and send Wolverine Nation home disappointed, again; because Coach Izzo is the real deal and John Beilein is a just a pretender who runs a gimmick system. News flash to all those self-assured doubters in East Lansing. John Beilein can scout talent. John Beilein can recruit talent. John Beilein can develop talent. John Beilein can game plan, and John Beilein can coach. And he does it as well as, if not better than your false idol.
Sunday is not some isolated moment in the history of this rivalry. It’s the culmination that has been four years in the making. While Beilein has been recruiting players the caliber of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, Izzo has been striking out on blue chippers like Jabari Parker. While Beilein has been developing players like Trey Burke into NPOY and NBA Rookie of the Year, Izzo is making excuses for players who have not quite reached the potential that their recruiting hype promised like Keith Appling. Beilein pulls hockey sticks out of the hands of Canadians and turns them into All-American death-dealers; Izzo teaches his players to slap the floor like lower primates to...to what? Prove that they're the alpha males?
Today the internet is abuzz with Spartans who are struggling to deal with their new reality as the 2ndbest basketball program in the state of Michigan. They will challenge the verity of Michigan’s preeminence with the impotent standard of matching Izzo’s Final Four total or winning the National Championship before respect is paid. But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about six of eight, and the inconvenient truth that while John Beilein may not match Tom Izzo’s record in the NCAA Tournament, he has passed MSU, and if he has done that, then maybe Izzo's house wasn’t built out of bricks after all.
Six of Eight. Catharsis, ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a long time coming. Smile and exhale.
Me: Coach Izzo, do you think big-ten-regular-season scheduling is much different now with Nebraska in the conference than it was before?
Izzo: "'Everything has changed so much,' coach Tom Izzo said. ""
Me: "Changed so much"? Really coach? I see that since at least as early as the 1998-1999 season, a big ten team would often avoid playing twice against at least two teams each. What do you think about the effects of having to not play every team each twice?
Izzo: "'There's been seasons we've either won or lost strictly on schedule,' Izzo said. 'If it's really erratic -- playing the top four twice and the bottom four once -- that could be a four- to six-game swing. And who you play on the road (means) a lot. I think the champion a lot of times is now determined by the schedule.'"
Me: You say the champion is "now determined by the schedule"? Doesn't logic suggest that that must have been the case as far back as 1998 then?
Me: So you're saying that at least some of the big ten titles MSU won since 1998 were not based on merit?
Me: Do you think you'd make the same argument if your team were today alone in first place in the big ten conference?
Dantonio (surprise appearance): "'OK, here's what we're going to do,' Dantonio said. 'We're going to get other people up here. We're going to talk about more than [scheduling].
'How many guys got a guy that's [knowledgeable on big ten scheduling]?' Dantonio asked . . . . After a couple raised their hands, Dantonio said: 'One, two -- so the two guys can go back there in the corner and talk about that. All of us right here, we're going to talk about [excuses for losing] for everybody. Let's go.'"
sources (disclaimer: one link is to a free press article; please avoid clicking to it if possible): http://www.freep.com/article/20120201/SPORTS07/202010433/Big-Ten-schedule-imbalance-irks-Michigan-State-s-Tom-Izzo
Interesting article from Mick McCabe on the perils of 7-on-7 football...
Armageddon has come to the world of high school football -- and its name is 7-on-7.
Wildly popular in the South, 7-on-7 football is a relatively new phenomenon in Michigan.
Until recently, 7-on-7 in this state was limited to high school teams playing in summer passing scrimmages. But now there are two organizations with 7-on-7 all-star teams that travel to other states during the spring and occasionally summer.
"I was wondering when that was going to happen," said Lowell coach Noel Dean. "They're exploiting the hell out of kids. It's just incredible. It's kind of like AAU basketball meets football now."
Click here for the rest of the article: http://www.freep.com/article/20110522/HSS1201/105220568/1048/rss03
OK, yesterday I called Tom Izzo a "pussy" for his histrionics over his pursuit of the Cleveland Cavaliers HC opening. Perhaps I was harsh, that full post is here:
UFR, as they say, I think Tearful Tom is more like Sarah Bernhardt, uber-emoting actress of the late 19th century and the early 20th century silent movie era.
Here is how Sarah looked, not a very close resemblance to Tom (except in profile):
But here is one description of Miss Bernhardt, and it fits Tom to a "T" (no, not a Tech):
Her amazing power of emotional acting, the extraordinary realism and pathos of her death-scenes, the magnetism of her personality, and the beauty of her "voix d'or," made the public tolerant of her occasional caprices.
Amazingly, the Sparty faithful are very tolerant, even noting the passing yesterday of Day 7:
(My favorite posts there on this topic are of the "hold me, will we be all right?" variety. The prospect of thousands of MSU sophomores in a fetal position on dorm couches for nearly a week is just too rich. The Breslin Center "vigil" Friday night with ritualistic candle-burning? WTF!?!).
Which leads us to a simple question:
What does a Spartan head coach have to do to get fired, anyway?
Clearly with each passing day we see the likelihood of Izzo leaving trending toward 0%. I never thought he was serious about leaving in the first place. The phrase "Attention Whore" springs to mind. MSU AD Mark Hollis is now seen as the wimp that he is. (We should never be more thankful that Mary Sue hired an AD with experience, integrity and guts.)
But we know that Dan Gilbert will not let this go on much longer, since Izzo is just a bit player in his all-in pursuit to re-sign LeBron James. Tom thinks this is all about him! So Gilbert soon gives Izzo an ultimatum, and hires Byron Scott.
Because of his allegiance to MSU and Izzo, Gilbert lets the Pride of Iron Mountain issue a press release a few hours earlier that just drips with Spartan Green wherein Tom proclaims his allegiance to East Lansing, college basketball, and the 2010-11 season.
This melodrama ends possibly today, likely tomorrow, Tuesday at the latest.
And somewhere, Sarah Bernhardt is proud.
I would have posted this in the other topic but that thread has developed so much and the MGOcommunity loves stats so here it is:
Nate Silver is obviously a homer but the stats look pretty damn good for Izzo, and by posting one nice thing about MSU and feel better bashing them for the rest of the year.
The article basically just says with stats that the chance the MSU has done this well in the tourney on luck alone is extremely small.