Thursday, March 20, 2008

Detroit fishwrap comment of the day - Sparty wins, and moves on

If there is one type of comment thread that gets real redundant, real quick, is one involving MSU or U of M. Within a couple of posts, you can expect to see old and busted put downs like scUM stinkbear, Moo U and Spartina used by the cretinous mouth breathers who tend to haunt fishwrap forums.

Call me jaded by my daily forays into the stink that is newspaper commenting threads, but to see insult after insult after insult, it becomes more tiresome than anything else. Which is why it was refreshing to see a MSU fan named msulaw quickly analyze Sparty's easy 72-61 1st round victory over Temple in the NCAA's. Nothing more, nothing less.

This was a good game by Neitzel. Sure, it would be nice if he scored more, but if teams are going to continue to double/hound him, that just frees up the rest of the team to score. Pitt will be a much tougher opponent than MSU, but I also believe that Pitt is a bit overrated. Sweet 16 is probably the best this team can expect (though Memphis is quite beatable), but maybe this team will surprise like it did 2 years ago.

Sparty did what they had to do, win and move on. I don't care if it got a little ugly at the end, or that Drew Neitzel had too quiet a game. Who cares about style points, or that Tom Izzo's team matched up well with Temple. Upsets happen in the NCAA's, especially in the 5-12 matchups, yet it didn't happen to the Spartans. The Spartans won, and winning is all that counts in the big tournament.

MSU always shows up prepared for the NCAA's, which is to Tom Izzo's credit, of which, in my mind, he doesn't get enough. With today's win, Izzo is a marvelous 24-9 in tournament games. How many coaches have a .700+ winning percentage in the tournament? I'm too damn lazy to look it up, but it can't be very many.

Which why I never understood the criticism Izzo sometimes gets from Spartans, and he got more than his fair share this year. 20 win seasons are now commonplace, along with NCAA berths. Some considered 07-08 an off season, but Sparty find themselves 26-8 overall, moving on to the round of 32, after beating Temple. That's one HELL of a season. Wolverines can only dream of such seasons.

If he Spartans continue to play solid ball like they did today, and get Neitzel going? I would not be surprised one iota to see MSU advance into the regional finals. In fact, I'd be loathe to bet against any Izzo coached team in the tournament...Unless they are playing Wisconsin.

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